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French prosecutors are investigating over 200 Jewish stars spray-painted on buildings across France, seeking a potential Russian connection to the rise in antisemitic acts.
Following the arrest of two Moldova-born individuals caught painting a blue Star of David in Paris, authorities discovered a conversation in Russian on their phone, which suggested they were paid for the act. Investigators have connected this couple to two others who left the country after tagging similar stars, hinting at a person based abroad coordinating these activities.
French officials noted a surge in social media activity around the graffiti, with bots fused to the Russian mercenary group Wagner allegedly amplifying the images. The intensity of the reposts on the platform raised suspicions of an orchestrated campaign, described by a French official as “totally artificial.” Amidst these developments, the Russian embassy in Paris has not commented on the accusations.
This comes as French officials are reporting increasing antisemitic violence in France, with over 1,100 antisemitic acts in the past month alone. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has assured that police are diligently working to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of such attacks.
One recent incident in Lyon involved a Jewish woman who was stabbed. Authorities later found a swastika on her door.