Three EU countries – France, Germany and Poland – on Monday announced the activation of pro-Russian propaganda on the Internet. As reported by the Reuters agency, they believe that Russia is thus trying to influence the course of the elections to the European Parliament, which will be held in June, and persuade voters to vote for conservative and pro-Russian forces. The statement was made at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries in Paris on February 12.
French diplomats presented the report of the state Internet surveillance service VIGINUM, published today. The report claims that observers discovered a network of at least 193 sites that massively rebroadcast the publications of Russian news agencies and bloggers. According to VIGINUM, the task of the network, which the service gave the working name of Portal Combat, is to “positively highlight Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and denigrate the Kyiv authorities with the aim of influencing public opinion, in particular in France.”
As an example, the French participants of the meeting cited an article circulating on such websites with the headline “Enough! France calls for radical measures against [президента Украины Владимира] Zelenskyi”. In fact, only a post on the X social network of one of the far-right French opposition politicians is quoted there.
The French participants of the meeting also mentioned that the propaganda, the source of which experts consider Russia, is trying to discredit France’s policy in West African countries and sway public opinion in favor of Moscow’s interests.
The foreign ministers of Germany and Poland also expressed concern about the growth of pro-Russian Internet activity. Annalena Burbock, head of the German Foreign Ministry, called the situation “an attack on our entire democracy.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied accusations of waging an information war in EU countries.