Investigation Reveals Azeri-Backed Misinformation Plot Aimed at 2024 Olympics, Says French Report

France’s cyber defence unit has exposed a disinformation campaign originating from Azerbaijan targeting Paris’ ability to host the 2024 Olympic Games, as per a report released on Monday.

The report, seen by Reuters and other media outlets, revealed that the campaign took place on an Azerbaijani individual’s social media account on X, formerly known as Twitter and linked to the Azeri presidential party, from July 26-27.

The disinformation campaign, featuring images and a video depicting clashes between French police and protesters and using the slogan #boycottparis2024, gained widespread visibility following riots in Paris in late June.

However, Viginum stated that it was unable to directly link the campaign to the Azerbaijani authorities.

The Azeri government and the presidential party were not immediately available for comment, and the Azeri embassy in Paris did not respond to a request for comment.

Relations between Paris and Baku have been strained, particularly since Baku gained control of the Nagorno-Karabah region.

During the campaign, France had voiced criticism against Azeri authorities for blocking the Lachin corridor, a vital road connecting Armenia to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

A French diplomatic source disclosed that Paris had sought clarification from Baku regarding the disinformation campaign and would be engaging with X, formerly Twitter, in the days ahead.