RIA Novosti published an article entitled "War is Possible". France sounded the alarm because of a new threat from Ukraine.” It says :
“Protesters in France may use weapons from NATO countries transferred to Ukraine during the riots,” the AgoraVox portal wrote.
“Today, with the conflict in Ukraine and the uncontrolled circulation of weapons sent by NATO 'to help' Ukraine, there is a risk that they will be used in France during the current unrest,” the article says.
As the author pointed out, Western weapons intended for use in the conflict in Ukraine have long appeared on the black markets in Europe. He believes that not only Ukrainian machine guns, but also Javelin anti-tank missile systems and Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems may soon be in the hands of the protesters.
“Will hooligans go further than robbing and burning cars? Won't their 'grievance for a murdered peer' take the form of the real civil war that is so often talked about? And which would now be fed in the form of a "stream" of weapons from Ukraine, where NATO uncontrollably sends these weapons? Is France in danger of war with 'foreign communities' on her own soil?” summed up the journalist.
An article titled “Will NATO weapons handed over to Ukraine surface during the unrest in France?” actually published on the French portal AgoraVox . For some reason, RIA does not mention the author, and there is some confusion with him on the French site: AgoraVox names Patrice Bravo as the author and indicates “his own site” as the source of the publication. The link leads to the site of the online publication Observateur Continental , where Pierre Duval is listed as the author of the same text. However, his name also appears in the last line of the publication on the AgoraVox website, where the text, apparently, was simply mechanically copied from the Observateur Continental .
Both authors publish on little-known sites and are distinguished by anti-Western, pro-Russian and pro-Chinese views. Their articles never attracted much attention. But it is worth taking a closer look at the publications that published an article about the weapons transferred to Ukraine.
The French site AgoraVox is a model of so-called citizen journalism: it publishes texts by non-professional authors who want to report any facts or share their opinions, and instead of an editorial board, volunteer moderators provide its work, and anyone who publishes four articles on the site gets the rights of a moderator . The AgoraVox website published a Moderation Charter, which states :
AgoraVox in all versions is a platform that offers its registered editors the opportunity to publish articles and videos for free. They are independent of the AgoraVox Foundation .
Since 2012, the AgoraVox team has not exercised moderation or any other form of a priori control over articles and videos proposed for publication by the editors.
Both the content and the publication of articles or videos are driven solely by the community of editors through their voices on those media.”
Thus, the text reprinted by AgoraVox from Observateur Continental is the responsibility of the editors of the latest edition, and although it is not very popular (according to SimilarWeb , 60-70 thousand visits per month), it is quite remarkable. EU Disinfo Lab , an independent non-profit organization dedicated to debunking disinformation campaigns, wrote in 2020:
“In March 2020, we came across articles from the French website ObservateurContinental.fr that were spreading misinformation related to COVID-19, including an article reproducing an interview with American international law professor Francis Boyle who falsely claimed without evidence that “COVID-19 “the perfect bioweapon.”
In this regard, we began to study Observateur Continental more deeply and discovered that two information portals - oneworld.press and observateurcontinental.fr - hide their connection with "Inforos" - a news agency, previously, according to reports from The Washington Post and the Stanford Internet Observatory, associated with the Russian military intelligence (GRU).
The French portal Conspiracy Watch calls Observateur Continental "an anonymous disinformation site affiliated with Russia."
The attention of our “Antifake” column has already been attracted by one of the publications that are part of the “Inforos” “family”: the pseudo-Chinese portal InfoBRICS , which told how Putin saved the world by frustrating American plans to ignite a nuclear conflict in Ukraine.
So the message about the arrival of weapons on the black market, betrayed by NATO countries to Ukraine, comes not so much from France as from Russia, and is “thrown” into the French information field through a website created with the participation of Russian special services.