French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy on Wednesday said Bangladesh's people and its public opinion are being targeted by "absolutely massive informational operation" completely distorting the reality when it comes to what France is doing with Ukraine.

"I wanted to alert you to that because you are a very professional and serious media. And it's your duty to not only debunk all these but to pre-bunk," she told a small group of journalists including UNB correspondent at her residence describing the "information manipulation" as a challenge for democracies.

The French envoy said Bangladesh is not the only country where it is taking place but it just shows that in the eyes of the current Russian regime, Bangladesh is one of their target countries.

Masdupuy said since early May, she noticed mainly on some YouTube channels, online media, and Bangladeshi online media in Bangladesh some videos explaining to the Bangladeshi people that France has troops in Ukraine, mentioning the particular name of some regiments, units or battalions.

"We are not talking about fake news, we are not talking about propaganda, and we are not talking about disinformation or misinformation. We are talking about information manipulation," she said.

She said information manipulation is a real threat and the real challenge that they all face everywhere in the world.

Ambassador Masdupuy said France has been facing information manipulation campaigns over the last years and they are seeing these campaigns intensifying in the last month, originating from Russia aiming at harming France. "There are probably reasons that encourage them to do this, but I will not go into it right now."

Responding to a question, she said information manipulation is definitely one issue, which they raise with the government of Bangladesh.

The envoy said she does not know how these videos went through and managed to be published in these channels in Bangladesh, including the serious ones.

"That's none of my business. My duty is to alert a sample of professional media here in Bangladesh through you," she said.

Masdupuy said she is not going for any legal action or asking anyone to withdraw the videos when damage is already done. "So, awareness, debunking and pre-bunking is of the essence. It has nothing to do with cyber security issues but an informational manipulation operation."

The ambassador criticisaed Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he has no limits and if he would win this war (Ukraine), then tomorrow, it (Russia) could be invading some other states. "He has no limits, he is a destabilizing power."

She said they are - Europeans - directly under threat from this kind of behavior. "In our view, Ukraine should win the war, and Russia should lose. And we have to win over such an enemy of our democracies and our values."

Responding to a question on the Gaza issue, she said active information manipulation campaigns are also going on to confuse people to excite people against other people. "It has been made very clear. We are in favor of the ceasefire. We are in favor of Israel respecting humanitarian international law, which is not the case, actually. And we are supporting the decision by the International Criminal Court to pursue in two different avenues."

Asked about Global South, the ambassador said, "For us, the world is one. We are one world. So, it will be one world and nobody should have to choose between fighting against poverty, or fighting against climate change, or putting at risk the education of its people."

The ambassador said everybody and every country has its own responsibilities, given its own capabilities. So obviously, European countries, for example, have particular responsibilities and would like to lead by example, when it comes to reducing as soon as possible, our carbon emissions when it comes to taking measures to fight against climate change."

She acknowledged that they have a special responsibility but other countries also do. "The main emitters - China, India and the US - also have special responsibilities. We all have special responsibilities, but it's within one global house, which is our planet and there is no planet B as you know."

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