Tracking cookies

To make our website even easier and more personal, we use cookies (and similar techniques). With these cookies we and third parties can collect information about you and monitor your internet behavior within (and possibly also outside) our website. If you agree with this, we will place these tracking cookies.

Yes, I give permissionNo thanks

POLITICO: Russia launched mass publications of fakes about bed bugs that have taken over France

28-10-2023 |

Those pesky Russians have launched a new front in their war on, er, everything. And this time their sights have been set on France, and more specifically, French people’s bodies!

According to French intelligence (as in the security services, not as in intellectuals sitting in smoky bars, thinking a lot and gazing into the distance), the Kremlin has been actively stoking fears about bedbugs in Paris.

As you will be aware, bedbugs are now running the French capital, taking on senior administrative roles, and opening shops and restaurants serving bedbug specialties such as boudin noir. Their failure to assimilate has angered many French people.

Some bedbugs, and you may want to sit down before reading this, make a very poor orange sauce to go with duck!

Regular readers may remember that POLITICO recently secured an exclusive interview with Benoît Bedbug, who now lives in Paris and hopes to become a French citizen in time to compete in next year’s Olympics (he’d like to participate in the breakdancing competition, and yes, breakdance is an actual sport in the actual Olympics in actual Paris).

Liberté, égalité, bed bug-ité
Collage: Valentina Di Liscia / Hyperallergic

Back to Russia … it’s believed that Kremlin trolls used so-called doppelganger articles that looked like they were written by reputable French newspapers to fan the flames of the bedbug panic on social media — because as we all know, there isn’t enough false information out there anyway.

One such fake article claimed that the best chemicals to get rid of bedbugs were not available because the EU’s sanctions on Russia prevented them from being sent to France. Another fake piece claimed that Ukrainian refugees were to blame for the spread of bedbugs.

Aldo Massaglia, of French pest-control company Doggybug, told the Telegraph: “People need to calm down or they’ll end up putting us back in lockdown at this rate! It’s as if someone was seeking to damage the reputation of the country before the Olympics.”

Speaking of damaged reputation, let’s raise a glass to the makers of Tsingtao beer who are dealing with a PR nightmare after video footage emerged of a brewery worker urinating into a tank full of beer. Bosses at (insert the name of the beer you like least here, to avoid me any costly legal action) are reportedly thinking of suing for copyright infringement.