Russian intelligence may have organized the protests in France, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a post on Facebook.
As evidence, the SBU cites a photograph from Paris showing two men in yellow jackets (a defining characteristic of protesters against the increase in petrol tax) holding the flag of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the SBU, the people in the photo are none other than Sorlin Fabris, a member of the Katehon think tank (which is chaired by the Russian politician Konstantin Malofeev) and Xavier Moro, a Russian citizen since 2013 who belongs to the public organization “East France – Solidarity Donbas”.
The SBU believes that these “right-wing radicals” are operating in France under the supervision of Russia’s FSB and GRU.
“Behind the back of world protesters, they are resorting to organizing riots and acts of violence in France. The Russian intelligence agency could organize similar provocations in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria and other European countries,” the SBU warned.
“International borders are not an obstacle to Russian hybrid aggression. The Kremlin’s dirty methods disrupt European stability, when they see in it a threat to themselves,” commented SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak.
“Yellow Jacket” protests have been sweeping through France since the start of November, and are linked to the planned petrol tax hike. As of December 8, 125,000 protesters had come out onto the streets. 10,000 demonstrators were involved in riots in Paris. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner reported that more than 1,300 arrests had been made, including members of both ultra-left and ultra-right political movements who were calling for violence.
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, said that “irreparable damage” has been done to the city. Hundreds of shops and public places in the French capital have been unable to open during the protests, and in many areas there has been degradation, with economic and cultural life grinding to a halt.