December 18, 2018

France’s ‘yellow vests’ and the Russian trolls that encourage them

Commentary for Deutsche Welle

Maxime Audinet, of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), concurs: “Russian information campaigns should not be seen as instruments that aim to mobilize new yellow vest protesters or to encourage violence.” Instead, she says that “Russian reporting seeks to further polarize public debate and to create the impression in France and abroad that the yellow vests have deeply divided France and brought it to the brink of civil war.”

Tatiana Stanovaya, a political analyst based in France, shares this interpretation. She says Russia is capitalizing on French President Emmanuel Macron’s political weakness to spread information suggesting “the decline of Europe, a crisis of democracy and growing opposition against the establishment.” However, she “would not say this is having much of an effect.”

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