Challenging Russian propaganda in France

France has made a long journey of reevaluating its perception of security and role of Russia in the architecture of European order. The path, however, is far from being over, as too many factors remain in play, influencing public opinion and political leadership in the country, trying to sway it into Russia’s favor and hide the fact that the existing security system has already been challenged and there is no going back to the status old quo.

The role of local proxies in these destructive processes is essential in France, just like in any other state targeted by the Kremlin’s hybrid influence. Marine Le Pen, a far-right Eurosceptic who has borrowed money from Russia, consistently promotes anti-Western, anti-NATO rhetoric and calls to lift the sanctions, even if Russian aggression against Ukraine has forced Le Pen to put some distance between herself and Vladimir Putin.

Anti-Western narratives are a particular trend of disinformation promoted in France, but in other societies targeted by the Russian influence as well. In addition to polarizing rhetoric and inciting distrust towards the EU and NATO, Russian propaganda desperately keeps trying to preserve the myth of military might and create the illusion that Russia cannot be defeated – therefore, helping Ukraine is only delaying the inevitable.

What other narratives are being spread in France and who are the key disseminators? What can be done to investigate and limit their influence – and what are the potential consequences of this influence? Watch Ukraine In Flames #151 to learn more about the work of Russian proxies in France.


  • Vassie Cécile, professor at Rennes 2 University, author of “​​Les réseaux du Kremlin en France”
  • Tetyana Ogarkova, head of international outreach at Ukraine Media Center.

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