Russia – New russian digital interference against France (9 November 2023)


France strongly condemns the involvement of the Russian network Recent Reliable News (RRN/Doppelgänger) in the artificial spreading and initial distribution on social media of photos of graffiti representing Stars of David in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.

Regarding the events themselves, the judicial investigation under way will have to establish the possible responsibility of a foreign backer.

Regarding their spread, on 6 November 2023 VIGINUM, the State’s technical and operational service tasked with vigilance and protection against foreign digital interference, detected the involvement of a network of 1,095 bots on the X platform (formerly Twitter), which had published 2,589 posts contributing to the controversy over Stars of David stencilled in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. VIGINUM has a high degree of confidence that these bots are affiliated to the RRN network, given that one of their main activities consists in redirecting people to RRN websites.
As regards the initial distribution of the photos, while photos of the graffiti seem to have been first published authentically on X at 7.37 p.m. on 30 October, VIGINUM identified the first publication by the RRN bot network on 28 October, from 7.24 p.m. onwards – i.e. some 48 hours earlier.

This new Russian digital interference operation against France testifies to the persistence of an opportunist and irresponsible strategy aimed at exploiting international crises in order to spread confusion and create tensions in the public debate in France and Europe.