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14/11/2023 | France accuses Russia of disinformation campaign using Star of David graffiti in Paris

Joseph Fitsanakis

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT HAS accused Russia of carrying out a disinformation campaign using stenciled images of Stars of David that mysteriously appeared in the streets of Paris late last month.

 

The stars, between 60 and 80 in number, were found in the 14th arrondissement of the French capital, as well as in several Parisian suburbs in the early hours of October 31. The stars (see accompanying picture) are all blue and all have the same size. They appear to have been hurriedly stenciled and have no accompanying text.

A statement issued on November 8 by the prosecutor for the city of Paris, Laure Beccuau, said that police had identified and arrested a man and a woman in connection with the graffiti. Referencing surveillance camera footage, Beccuau’s statement said the two suspects had stenciled the stars overnight, working in unison with a third individual who took photographs of the graffiti. The statement added that the alleged perpetrators of the graffiti may have contacts with another couple, consisting of an unnamed 28-year-old Moldovan woman and a 33-year-old Moldovan man. Police had arrested the Moldovans in Paris on October 27, for painting the same stenciled Start of David on a building in Paris.

The statement by the Paris prosecutor alleges that both couples had been in contact “with the same third party”, a Russian-speaking individual who had offered to pay them in exchange for graffitiing the stars. “It therefore cannot be ruled out that the tagging of the blue Stars of David in the Paris region was carried out at the explicit request of a person living abroad”, the statement concludes. Some reports speculated that the graffiti may have been part of a campaign by a “foreign actor trying to undermine French social cohesion”.

Last Thursday, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs openly accused Russia for carrying out a disinformation campaign aimed at amplifying the Star of David graffiti on social media, allegedly in order to discredit France. The ministry said the disinformation campaign reflected “a persisting opportunistic and irresponsible strategy of using international crises to create confusion and tensions in the public debate in France and in Europe”. Later on the same day, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Paris issued a statement on social media, condemning France’s “groundless attempts to seek out a ‘Russian connection’ in events having no connection with our country and pin responsibility on Russia with the sole aim of discrediting it”.

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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