French prosecutors have charged two Moldovan nationals for allegedly vandalizing the facade of Le Figaro, a prominent French newspaper, with anti-war graffiti.

This incident, part of a series of similar acts in recent weeks, underscores the heightened tensions in Paris related to France’s support for Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.

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On Saturday, June 22, judicial sources revealed that the suspects were apprehended overnight between Thursday and Friday after they were caught painting six red coffins and the slogan “Stop the Death, Mriya, Ukraine” on the walls of Le Figaro.

The term “Mriya” translates to “dream” in Ukrainian. The suspects, both carrying Moldovan passports, now face charges of property destruction and participating in efforts to demoralize the army, which could be seen as an attempt to undermine national defense during peacetime.

The French government has repeatedly expressed concerns about disinformation and other subversive actions believed to be instigated by Russia in response to France’s support for Ukraine. This latest act of graffiti is viewed within this context of geopolitical tension.

Earlier this year, President Emmanuel Macron stated that he had not ruled out the possibility of sending French troops to Ukraine, a statement that has further strained relations between Paris and Moscow.

The two Moldovans claimed they were paid approximately €100 to execute the graffiti. This revelation has led investigators to suspect a coordinated effort, possibly influenced or funded by external actors, to spread anti-war sentiment and disrupt public opinion in France.

In a related incident, similar graffiti was discovered on Thursday on the facade of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) headquarters, which is located near the Figaro offices in central Paris. The graffiti displayed the same six red coffins, linking the two acts.

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Authorities have launched a separate investigation following the discovery of graffiti depicting French Mirage fighter jets as coffins in three different districts of Paris.

These images were accompanied by the phrase “Mirages for Ukraine,” a clear reference to France’s recent commitment to send Mirage-2000 fighter jets to Ukraine and train Ukrainian pilots.

This series of vandalism began earlier this month when French police detained three young Moldovans suspected of painting coffins along with the slogan “French soldiers in Ukraine” on various Parisian walls. Although they were charged with property damage, they were subsequently released.

President Macron’s announcement in early June about France’s decision to send military aid, including Mirage-2000 fighter jets, to Ukraine is seen as a significant gesture of support for Kyiv.

This move, however, has sparked controversy and fears of retaliatory actions, such as these graffiti incidents, which aim to sway public opinion and potentially demoralize French military support for Ukraine.

French authorities are on high alert, recognizing the potential for these acts to be part of a broader campaign of psychological warfare. They are investigating possible connections to Russian influence operations intended to destabilize French public opinion and weaken the resolve of France’s support for Ukraine.

As investigations continue, the spotlight remains on the implications of these acts and the broader context of international tensions affecting domestic security and public perception in France.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members