NewsDGSI warns of Russian 'proxy' interference: A creeping threat in French society

DGSI warns of Russian 'proxy' interference: A creeping threat in French society

DGSI warns of Russian 'proxy' interference: A creeping threat in French society
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2:11 PM EST, February 23, 2024

As per the DGSI, Russian special services have adopted "alternative operational methods," utilizing 'proxy' networks for interference. These operations are observable in the subversive actions carried out by these "proxies." These actions range from misdemeanors such as damaging public property to disseminating posters or leaflets.

These actions are designed to exacerbate divisions within French society. Various topics can be leveraged for this purpose, such as pension reform, views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or even "slandering" the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, as described by the DGSI.

This tactic could also be used to overtly support Russian interests while criticizing French, American, and NATO foreign policies. Counterintelligence hasn't discounted the possibility that these "proxies" might be obligated to commit violent acts, such as attacks on Ukrainian refugees or Russian dissidents.

Russian services in operation within Europe

A memo penned by Celine Berthon, who assumed charge of the DGSI in December 2023, was dispatched to chiefs of police and the gendarmerie. Counterintelligence deduces that the individuals responsible for such acts hail from Russian-speaking regions in Eastern Europe.

In this setting, the AFP notes an incident in the fall of 2023, during the war in the Gaza Strip. The Star of David symbol was widely seen on building facades in Paris and the suburbs. The suspected culprits for this graffiti, two Moldovan citizens, were apprehended. Their alleged employer was a pro-Russian businessman from Moldova.

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