Last week, a spicy political scandal forced Benjamin Grieveaux, a candidate for the post of Paris mayor representing President Macron's Forward, Republic! Party, to withdraw from the race. The candidate dropped out in the wake of a leaked sex tape. The most interesting part of the story is that the video was initially posted by a Russian odious artist and activist Petr Pavlensky, who had allegedly fled to France to from Russian persecution.
That's according to Alexander Kovalenko, a Ukrainian military and political observer, who wrote a column for Yuzhniy Dozor.
In his piece "Kremlin's agents in France deliver a blow to Team Macron", I mentioned that such figures as Petr Pavlensky are nothing but a project of Russian intelligence agencies, set to be deployed in various infowar bridgeheads. To this end, intel masterminds mold for their projects an image of fighters for freedom of speech, artists, persecuted by authorities and rejected by society, or exiled fighters against the regime.
This kind of "projects" have been active around the world, from Ukraine, to the EU, the United States and many other states. Many of them were granted asylum and joined the game on their new platforms, having been assigned a new role.
But, let's go back to Pavlensky. The thing is that his recent jab at Macron's man, Benjamin Grieveaux revealed his affiliation with the Russian intelligence agency.
Firstly, Petr Pavlensky – who, I should once again repeat, was known for his extravagant and defiant performances (whom the FSB for some reason was hesitant to persecute the "hard way" as they traditionally do with others), but by no means an "information killer" (this role is usually assigned to journalists) – posted the sex tape in one of Facebook groups that are part of the "Yellow Vests" movement. Numerous reports had earlier pointed that it was representatives of Russia-funded Marine Le Pen's "People’s Association", who had been radicalizing the Yellow Vests movement, including directly through the Russian special services. But, let's move on.
Secondly, Pavlensky's report, after the initial launch on the "Yellow Vests" platform, was immediately shared on the Jeuxvideos.com, a French gamers' site. It was this forum that in May 2017 became one of the main platforms for dumping correspondence of Macron campaign headquarters, which were also spun by the notorious WikiLeaks, a resource of Julian Assange, who is being accused of cooperating with Russian intelligence. Noteworthy, it was hackers who worked for Russian intelligence who were accused of snatching that correspondence.
And now, the cherry on the cake! Thirdly, the fact is that one of Julian Asange's lawyers, since 2015, has been Juan Branco, who in 2017 also tried to get into the highest political circles of France with the far-left Defiant France party. It was Juan Branco who was one of the "voices" of the "Yellow Vests" protests and even took an active part in the attack on government buildings on January 5, 2019, from which the police then hastily evacuated (attention!) the official representative of the French government, Benjamin Griveaux!
But, the most important thing here is that Juan Branco is acting as a lawyer for Petr Pavlensky!
So here's a funny love triangle, isn't it? Or better say, a chaotic mix of characters in a whirlpool launched on Moscow's initiative, thousands of kilometers from Paris.