French intelligence has so far failed to find a Russian direct involvement in the dissemination of false information in social media about the yellow vests protest movement, the Journal du Dimanche has reported.
However, the paper said this is not yet the definitive analysis of the French agencies.
French intelligence has been investigating any Kremlin role in social media activity that has magnified the yellow-vests movement and spread misinformation about it, helping the protests become the most serious threat to French President Emmanuel Macron’s administration, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Moscow has denied any Russian involvement in instigating the demonstrations.
Cybersecurity researchers have been in disagreement over whether Kremlin agents have been controlling some of the accounts used to encourage the protests.
Ryan Fox of New Knowledge cybersecurity firm said it identified several hundred accounts on Twitter and Facebook it says are very likely controlled by Moscow and are active in the movement, but Facebook said it hasn’t found evidence of such a campaign by Russia or any other foreign government.
Hundreds of thousands of mainly working-class people have been mobilized in the protest movement against Macron and his economic policies in recent weeks, which has led to rioting in Paris.
Russia has a stake in the protests, according to The Wall Street Journal, because Macron’s election victory was an unexpected setback for Moscow, as two pro-Russian candidates were leading contenders for the presidency.
Macron has become one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics worldwide.
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