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In France, a Russian special operation to spread propaganda about the war in Ukraine was exposed

The goal of the campaign was to provide positive coverage of Russia’s “special military operation,” as well as to discredit Ukraine and its leadership.

Russian Federation to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda

The French anti-foreign influence body VIGINUM reported the exposure of a Russian special operation called Portal Kombat. As part of it, Russian sites disseminated Kremlin propaganda in the West regarding the war in Ukraine.

European Pravda reported this.

The Portal Kombat network consists of at least 193 sites that were previously distributed . news about Ukraine and Russia. However, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the network was reoriented to the occupied Ukrainian territories, and then to several Western countries, in particular France.

Some of the sites contained the word “pravda” in the domain name – the English-language portal was searched at the link, and the French-language portal –

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“The sites of this network do not create their own content, but relay publications from three main sources: accounts of Russian or pro-Russian entities on social networks, Russian news agencies and official websites of local institutions or entities,” VIGINUM notes. Between June 23 and September 19, 2023, sites published more than 150 thousand materials.

The purpose of the Portal Kombat network was to provide positive coverage of Russia's “special military operation” as well as discrediting Ukraine and its leadership.

“In an attempt to reach a wide audience, this network uses a number of methods, in particular careful selection of sources of pro-Russian propaganda in accordance with the target audience, mass automation of content distribution and search engine optimization,” says the VIGINUM report.

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