Russia Undermining Paris Olympics?

French President Emmanuel Macron

Russia is running a disinformation campaign to undermine the Paris Olympics, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

At the inauguration of a new Olympic swimming centre, reporters asked if he thought Russia was targeting the Games.

“Without a doubt,” he said, “including in the field of information.

“Every day (Russia) is putting out stories saying that we are unable to do this or that, so (the Games) would be at risk.”

The French government says Russia has recently stepped up propaganda attacks on France, using fake accounts on social media to spread rumours and disinformation.

It follows Mr Macron’s switch to a more hard-line policy on the Ukraine war, to which he no longer refuses to rule out eventually sending French troops on the side of Kyiv.

France believes Russian intelligence was behind the daubing of Israeli Stars of David on Paris walls after the October 7 Hamas attacks, in what was interpreted as a bid to stir up divisions in France.

A network of Russian-created websites named Portal Kombat is accused of spreading made-up stories, such as claims that French mercenaries are already serving in Ukraine, or that Mr Macron cancelled a trip to Kyiv because of fears of an assassination attempt.