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France – bedbug scare – believes Russia was behind it

France – bedbug scare – believes Russia was behind it

Tingling and itching walls and little brown crawlers under the mattress. This is what many French people and tourists in Paris feared in the fall of 2023.

The little insect wasn't just hiding in the walls of bedrooms and hotel rooms. It was reportedly such a big problem that bedbugs also took over the city's metro and Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Both politicians and pest experts have spoken out in several media outlets and confirmed that a fall 2023 bedbug appearance may occur “It surpassed all other years”.

Meanwhile, there were many French people who were confused. Many did not feel that the problem was as big as the impression it left in the media and on social media.

Now French Europe Minister Jean-Noel Barrot says that the bed bug scare in France was influenced by people linked to Russia and the Kremlin.

The minister says this in an interview with the TV channel Tf.

The bedbug issue received artificial attention on social media, through accounts that were certain to be of Russian origin. He told the channel that the matter was greatly reinforced by accounts linked to the Kremlin.

Tourists were asked to evacuate: - Error

Tourists were asked to evacuate: – Error

Pre-existing anxiety

When asked whether Russia was behind the artificial panic, Barrow replied that he believed it had reinforced the effect of already existing anxiety.

Because the bedbug problem in Paris is not a new phenomenon.

Back in 2010, Dagbladet's DinSide wrote an article about this Bed bugs have invaded Paris.

French experts from INELP in France, the national institute for the study and control of bedbugs, said this fall that cases of infestation by the uninvited insect have been increasing for several years.

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“But this year we surpassed all other years,” said the institute’s president, Marie Evroy CNN.

Bedbug scare - Russia believed to be behind it

One a report Data from the French authorities, released in July, indicated that 11 percent of French families had been attacked by bedbugs in the past five years. According to the report, the reason is increased travel activity.

However, in September 2023, stories of bed bugs had already begun to emerge, and French media described the panic as “psychosis.”

Fake newspaper articles

French authorities believe that at this time the Russians spread false information, including fake social media accounts and fake news articles.

An example of one false article being circulated was that some chemicals produced by Russia, which were necessary to make pesticides, had been banned in Europe due to sanctions imposed on Russia.

Bedbug scare - Russia believed to be behind it

The false claims appeared in articles that appeared to be published by La Montagne media.

In the case of fact-checking published by Agence France-Presse, the media categorically denied publishing such an article.

Another fake article claims that Ukrainian refugees are the cause of Paris's bedbug problem.

It would weaken the West

Suspicion of Russian interference had previously been mentioned in October 2023. Then several media outlets reported, based on anonymous sources in the French intelligence services, that there was speculation that Russia might be behind it.

Only now a French minister has confirmed these accusations.

According to French authorities, there are believed to be several reasons behind Russia's desire to intervene.

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Bedbug scare - Russia believed to be behind it

Among other things, the Russians reportedly wanted to discredit the West's aid to Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia, according to French authorities.

It is also said to be aimed at harming France's reputation and interests, especially ahead of the Olympic Games to be held in Paris in the summer of 2024.

At a press conference in October, French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said there was no scientific evidence of the sudden explosion in bed bugs.

– There is no increase in cases and no psychosis. He said there was no reason to be afraid France Press agency.