France slams Russian networks for 'exploiting' crises with posts of Star of David graffiti in Paris

© Lucien Libert, Reuters

The French foreign ministry accused Russian online networks of attempting to "exploit international crises to sow confusion" in France and in Europe by sharing photos of the Stars of David appearing around Paris, graffiti that has been widely suspected of being an anti-Semitic statement.

France accused Russia Thursday of interfering in its affairs by sharing photos online of Stars of David found daubed on dozens of buildings in Paris.

The foreign ministry in a statement accused the Russian RRN/Doppelganger network of attempting to "exploit international crises to sow confusion and create tension in the public debate in France and Europe", and of mounting a "new operation of Russian online interference".

The accusation came after French prosecutors this week launched an investigation into the possibility that the graffiti, widely condemned as anti-Semitic, may have been carried out at the "express demand" of an individual residing abroad.

An investigating magistrate will probe the intention of the acts, prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement Tuesday, following the arrest of two Moldovans who told investigators they were acting at the behest of a third party.

This has led to widespread suspicion that the French probe is specifically targeting Russia.

Tensions rising in France

On Thursday, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that such accusations were "stupid, utter rubbish and just plain undignified".


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
'Anti-Semitic' graffiti possibly ordered from abroad, Paris prosecutor says
The French and anti-Semitism: Israel-Hamas war stokes surge in threats against Jews
French Jewish woman stabbed in her home in France’s Lyon, police hunts suspect