Espreso. Global

Pro-Russian media target France: Top-3 fakes of past week

29 May, 2024 Wednesday

Pro-Kremlin media are trying to undermine European society and weaken Ukraine's position in the war with Russia. In particular, in France, Moscow fakes were intended to undermine mobilization in Ukraine, denigrate Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and demonize Emmanuel Macron


This is reported by Insight News.

Fake 1: Ukraine’s mobilization: ‘To the last Ukrainian’

The winner of the Russian fakes ranking is a new military propaganda video that depicts a new wave of mobilization in Ukraine. As one could imagine, Russian propaganda has manufactured the scenario, which appears ludicrous and implausible.

The film's title, "To the Last Ukrainian," alludes to the well-known Kremlin narrative. In the video, a Ukrainian soldier forces his elderly parents and children into the military. As if there were no men of draftable age left. Their appearance implies that they were unfit for the service. In this approach, Russian war propaganda seeks to undermine Ukraine's new mobilization, which is the result of Russia's continued aggression.

The video is part of a bigger Russian propaganda operation, which is well-coordinated and aimed at audiences in Ukraine to comprehend the ongoing mobilization and in Europe to erode support for Kyiv.

“Who spread this new Russian propaganda video in France? It was Reseau International, a news platform that succeeded RT France (Russia Today) following its ban by the French authorities,” the publication writes.

The Russian propaganda video was shared on several social media platforms, including the Russian platform VK, from where Reseau International took it. The footage was also shared on YouTube.

“The narrative of “To the Last Ukrainian” was repeated word for word in the title of Régis Le Sommier’s book, a French pro-Russian reporter, director of the pro-Russian Omerta media, and former editor of RT France (Russia Today, French edition, now banned in France): “Jusqu’au dernier Ukraine: Récit d’un reporter de guerre”. He regularly travels to the frontlines and Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories and films the war from the Russian side,” Insight News writes.

Russia’s war, which has been lasting for over 2 years, has proved that Ukrainians have no alternative but to fight. The truth is that Russia’s purpose is to destroy Ukraine as a nation, and Ukrainians have to fight for their life. Russian airstrikes on calm cities far from the frontlines kill citizens and destroy energy infrastructure, while Russian troops execute civilians in captured towns. Ukrainian children are being forcibly deported to Russia for 're-education'.

“It is cynical for Russians to say that Ukraine fights the war to the last Ukrainian, since Russia is waging war, occupying territories, and killing Ukrainians. The surrender of Ukrainian territory will not stop Russian aggression but will raise Russia’s appetite for a pause followed by further military action.”

Fake 2. ‘Zelenskyy is not legitimate’

Russian state propaganda media and pro-Russian news sites in France have promoted the concept that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is not legitimate since May 21, when the presidential election was scheduled. Due to Russia's continuing war with Ukraine, martial law forbids the voting from taking place.

The objective of such assertions is to erode the credibility of the Ukrainian administration and shift attention away from pronouncements on Putin’s illegitimacy. The European Parliament issued a resolution condemning Russia's March presidential election as undemocratic and unlawful.

In an attempt to validate its allegations, Russian propaganda has brought in a pro-Russian Ukrainian businessman and politician, former media mogul Viktor Medvedchuk, a close associate of Putin. The Russians refer to him as a "Ukrainian opposition politician.”

After Russia launched a full-fledged war, Ukrainian authorities detained Medvedchuk and accused him of treason. In September 2022, Ukraine gave him over to Russia in a prisoner-of-war exchange, freeing military officers and soldiers who had been defending Mariupol.

Medvedchuk has since lived in Russia and can be called a collaborator rather than a Ukrainian opposition figure. The Czech Republic and the EU recently sanctioned Medvedchuk for running the pro-Russian media platform Voice of Europe, which European authorities claimed attempted to extend Russian influence and alter public opinion in Europe before the European Parliament elections.

“The claim about Zelenskyy’s illegitimacy was initially spread by two Russian propaganda frontrunners, RT and Sputnik, banned in France. However, the ban on their fake stories is not really working in France, as this fake war has been reported and quoted by several French news outlets: NewsNet, Qactus, Stratpol, Reseau International, Le Media en 442, Egalite et Reconciliation, and others.”

And the medal for the harshest phony and worst coverage of this topic goes to Stratpol and Xavier Moreau, a French-born Russian propagandist who lives in Moscow. He added to it a fresh bogus narrative about a “narco-Kyiv-army” saying that Ukrainian soldiers are drug addicts.

Insight News notes: “This pro-Russian narrative is the most widespread. However, at the same time, it has failed, as Europe’s leading media have covered the topic of Zelensky’s presidency in a professional and objective manner.”

Fake 3. ‘Macron steals people’s savings’

Three weeks before the European Parliament elections, pro-Russian propaganda websites targeted the government, specifically French President Emmanuel Macron. In its pseudo-analysis, the Géopolitique Profonde platform accused Macron of stealing French citizens' savings. This information is inaccurate, thus there is nothing to remark on.

This false material was also repeated on other pro-Russian websites in French. Florian Philippot, a far-right pro-Russian politician and former Marine Le Pen campaign manager, was a significant proponent of this phony. The network of fake news and manipulation is clearly coordinated and synchronized.

“It’s obvious that these publications are attempting to denigrate President Macron and discredit the French government and political parties in power ahead of the elections. Such publications may also incite protest moods and chaos in society,” publication writes.

The samples and statements from biased news sites, which include a combination of manipulation, propaganda, and false news, show that Russian official state media platforms are not the only source of hybrid anti-European and pro-Kremlin influence in the EU.

As a result, new sanctions against Russian and pro-Russian media sites like Ria Novosti, Izvestiya, and Voice of Europe will not remove incorrect information and propaganda from the internet.

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