Statement by Ms Catherine Colonna - Foreign digital interference – France’s detection of an information manipulation campaign (13 June 2023)


The French authorities have revealed a digital information manipulation campaign against France involving Russian actors and to which government bodies or bodies affiliated with the Russian State have participated by spreading misinformation.

This campaign consists, among other things, of creating fake web pages usurping the identity of national media outlets and government websites as well as creating fake accounts on social media.

VIGINUM was able to detect this campaign early on, which enabled the competent French authorities to take protection and prevention measures. Other relevant technical measures are ongoing. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has thwarted an attempt to usurp its identity on its website (

Investigations conducted by VIGINUM have revealed information pointing to the involvement of Russian or Russian-speaking individuals and several Russian companies in the design and conduct of this campaign. VIGINUM has also observed that several government bodies or bodies affiliated with the Russian State participated in spreading certain content produced under this campaign.

A summary of investigations conducted by VIGINUM is available on the websites of France Diplomatie and [General Secretariat for Defence and National Security>] (SGDSN).

The implication of Russian cultural centres and embassies that have actively participated in spreading content produced by this campaign, including via their institutional accounts on social media, is further proof of the hybrid strategy that Russia is implementing to undermine the conditions for peaceful democratic debate, and therefore damage our democratic institutions.

France condemns these acts, which are not worthy of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. No manipulation attempt will dissuade France from supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s war of aggression.

The French authorities are working in close collaboration with their partners to ensure the failure of Russia’s hybrid war.