Radio Sputnik discussed the BBC's attempts to find a "Russian trace" in the French protests with Adriel Kasonta, a foreign affairs analyst based in London.
Sputnik: What is your reaction to the report of BBC's attempts to find "Russian trace" in the French protests?
Adriel Kasonta: In my opinion [it's] just a continuation of the McCarthyist witch-hunt against Russia which is some kind of tactic to cover up the misjudgements or the wrong policies of certain states like, for instance, in France that scapegoats Russia for every single reason.
It is somehow counterproductive also for the BBC and the Western media to pin every blame on people's disapproval of a country's policies on Russia, because what we're seeing at the moment is that, for instance, Russia Today in France is showing a counter-narrative, they're showing how the "yellow vests" are protesting, what the reason is why they are protesting, and so on and so forth.
So I don't understand if something is going against the mainstream narrative it somehow automatically to be blamed on Russia.
And as the BBC example is clearly showing, the witch-hunt, the lunacy of these people, is that they are not satisfied with the objectivity of the journalist who says: "Oh, I haven't seen anyone from the Russian government or Russia being involved in this riot". And they're not willing to reassess their policies, to ask themselves the question why these people went out to the streets and what were their motivations.
Sputnik: But has the BBC made reports?
Adriel Kasonta: What we have to understand is the BBC is trying to wage a war against Russia because every single time the BBC is portraying certain occurrences in the political arena or business arena, RT is showing a counter view, the same as Sputnik is doing.
So obviously any state will try to take advantage of certain circumstances in the country that they're competing with. We have to understand that, yes, we are friends and countries are willing to cooperate with each other but such great powers like, for instance, the United States, Russia or any other country, can take their own spin on the particular issue and use it, but it does it mean that they're influencing it? No, this is their opinion.
Many people in France, with whom I've been talking, were saying that they were displeased with what Emmanuel Macron is doing with regards to taxes. So if we go back to the enlightenment and the French Revolution — unfortunately, Vladimir Putin and Russia Today weren't in place — but it does it mean that the people during the French Revolution were influenced by Russian agents or Russian state media? I don't think so. It's something organic within society, it is natural that in democratic societies people sometimes take power in their own hands and they go into the streets in order to riot.
Sputnik: What are the motives behind this? Who has anything to gain from the anti-Russian narrative?
Adriel Kasonta: Who is to gain from this narrative is the ever-growing NATO, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This is a continuation, as I said, of the McCarthyist way of scapegoating Russia to make it an enemy of the state and a state which is trying to meddle in every single situation or current affair of the country.
Sputnik: Why do you think it's BBC in particular and not the French media that are actually accusing or looking for proof of Russian complicity in the "yellow vests" protests?
Adriel Kasonta: It's very interesting thank you, for asking is very important question. As you can see the BBC, because of its a global reach, is playing a crucial role in any campaign conducted against the state which might be perceived by the Western powers as an enemy to their interest, not to the interest of the citizens of the other countries, but to the interest of their governments, and the BBC are the mouthpiece of the government in the UK, sometimes it's labelled as a biased British channel — rightfully — it is trying to conduct this campaign because of the fact that BBC is English TV and as we know English is the lingua franca.
So once we see what the BBC is doing here in the UK you can rest assured that CNN, Sky News and other media outlets, including France 24, will jump on the same bandwagon and they will try to pin the blame on Russia.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.