Disinfo: Russia is accused of election meddling in France without any evidence

Summary

In France, Russia was accused of meddling in the elections without any evidence. Despite this, the media continue to refer to it by quoting government spokesman Benjamin Grivaux or other officials from La Republique en Marche. But in France, no Mueller report was commissioned. The confusion still persists.

Disproof

There is plenty of evidence about Russian actors attempting to meddle in the French election. Although a "Mueller report was not commissioned in France", the investigations by The Insider and Mediapart.Fr discovered that the Russian military intelligence GRU unit #26165 was probably behind hackers' attacks on the e-mails of Emmanuel Macron's team during the election 2017 in France. Wikileaks' account, as well as social media and Russian State TV spread "news" about "Macronleaks". Russian State TV announced that an off shore account of Emmanuel Macron in the Bahamas was found in those e-mails. Also, Macron's competitor Marine Le Pen accused Macron of having an off shore account on Bahamas. The account turned out to be made up. Later, the same GRU unit #26165 was incriminated in the US by Robert Mueller's probe for hacking against the Democratic party.

France still has not publicly attributed the cyberattacks to any particular perpetrator. The report by French Foreign Ministry and Ministry for the Armed Forces think tanks makes a clear distinction between the cyberattack and spreading manipulated information. According to the report, "Russian media, with Sputnik and RT at the head, played a non-negligible role in the diffusion of this information. --- What can be safely assumed is that, whoever the perpetrator was, they were at least linked to Russian interests and received help from the American alt-right and French far-right".

Currently, the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) is in charge of the investigation of the alleged meddling of Russian social media accounts in the yellow vests protests.

In 2015, cyber attacks against French TV channel TV5Monde were attributed by law enforcers to Russian hackers.

Read more about election meddling in France and elsewhere here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: France, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling

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