Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Paris on Sunday evening for dinner and talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, following meetings earlier this weekend with leaders in Italy and Germany.
Arman Soldin, a 32-year-old video reporter for French news agency Agence France-Presse, was killed in a Russian missile attack on Ukrainian army positions in the town of Chasiv Yar, close to the town of Bakhmut where intense fighting has raged for months.
French president's latest tour of Africa comes at a time of ever-increasing competition from China and Russia, and growing resentment of the close economic ties between France and its former colonies, which some see as a form of continued exploitation.
French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking on Saturday after China called for urgent peace talks to end the war in Ukraine, said he would visit Beijing in early April to further the initiative, but cautioned that a settlement would depend upon the condition that 'the Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people was respected'.
After the recapture by Ukraine last autumn of territories occupied by Russia since its invasion of the country in February 2022, there is a strong public demand that those who collaborated with the occupier should be brought to account before the courts. Beyond the most flagrant cases, the legal process of identifying collaboration can be both complicated and sensitive, with some having acted voluntarily, others under duress. The prosecution services, meanwhile, are under pressure to act swiftly. Carine Fouteau reports from the city of Kharkiv and its surrounds, liberated last September.
In an interview with French media, President Emmanuel Macron argued for increased military support for Ukraine to see Russia defeated, but said he did not agree with those who 'want to, above all else, crush Russia', adding that past attempts around the world for regime change have ended in 'total failure'.
An international donor conference in Paris on Tuesday racked up substantial promises of financial and in-kind support for Ukraine in response to sustained Russian aerial bombardment of critical infrastructure that has plunged millions of civilians into deepening cold and dark.
The war in Ukraine has both demonstrated and heightened the dependence of European countries on US military support, while also creating divisions in their defence strategies, notably between Germany and France. In this interview with Justine Brabant, retired French army lieutenant general Jean-Paul Perruche, who served at a senior level in NATO and as director general of the European Union military staff, offers his analysis of the challenges now facing Europe. He argues why it must build a structure to allow for common military autonomy with pragmatic plans to deal with future threats. “It’s really quite pitiful that we are incapable of doing anything, whereas we have four times the budget of the Russians,” he says. “It’s tragic.”
On Monday October 10th the Élysée announced “new measures to support Ukraine militarily”. Two days later President Emmanuel Macron said France would be sending air-defence systems to the country after the recent Russian missile attacks. Up to now the French government has concealed exactly how much military support it has given to Kyiv since Russia's invasion in February, justifying this on the grounds of operational secrecy. However, a think tank has now detailed the military aid that all countries have given to Ukraine, and these figures show that France trails behind other key allies. Justine Brabant and Donatien Huet report.
The German military or 'Bundeswehr' is under-equipped, used only for deployment in other parts of the world and is currently incapable of defending its own territory. In essence, the army in post-reunification Germany was designed for peace - not war. Now the conflict in Ukraine and the threat from Russia have changed all that and authorities in Berlin are planning to build the “biggest conventional European army within NATO”. Thomas Schnee reports from Berlin about Germany's shift away from pacifism.