How a German army designed not to fight now aims to be 'biggest NATO force in Europe'

International — Analysis

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.

Macron calls for Russian troops to leave Ukraine nuclear plant

International — Link

Ukrainian and Russian officials have traded accusations over who is responsible for attacks close to the nuclear plant in southern Ukraine.

Macron interview: Russia 'will use gas as a weapon of war'

International — Link

In the Bastille Day interview the president also called on the French to reduce energy use and waste saying that using less energy was a good thing both "for the climate and also for our energy independence".

'Bloodlands' author Timothy Snyder on why Russia’s war against Ukraine is 'genocide'

International — Interview

In this interview with Mediapart, Yale University professor of history Timothy Snyder, a specialist on eastern European history and notably Ukraine, author of Bloodlands, his internationally acclaimed book about mass murders in central and eastern Europe beginning in the 1930s, argues why he believes Russia’s war against Ukraine amounts to genocide in the full legal sense of the term. He also sketches Ukraine’s long history of resistance to oppression, the singular character of its society, and why it is vital for the future Europe, and even Russia, that Ukraine wins the war.

Macron condemns Russian 'massacre' as EU leaders visit Kyiv

International — Link

French head of state was speaking in the town of Irpin while on a visit with the German, Italian and Romanian leaders to show support for Ukraine.

Renault sells its stake in Moscow plant

International — Link

Following pressure on it to follow other major western companies in withdrawing business from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, French carmaker Renault has announced the company is to cede its 68% stake in the biggest Russian vehicle manufacturer, AvtoVAZ, but with an option to buy it back within six years.

Le Pen opposes sanctions on Russian oil and gas

France — Link

The French far-right presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen, who will face Emmanuel Macron in a deciding vote between the two on April 24th and who has previously shown support for the Kremlin over its conflict with Ukraine, has said she is opposed to sanctions on Russian oil and gas.

Russia 'must answer for crimes' in Ukraine says French president

France — Link

Since Russian soldiers pulled out of Kyiv and the surrounding area,  Ukrainian officials say they have recovered 410 civilian bodies. 

Decathlon's French owner finally closes Russian stores

International — Link

The decision comes days after Ukraine's foreign minister called for a global boycott of French stores still operating in Russia. 

The damning evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

International — Investigation

Footage from the war in Ukraine, analysed by Mediapart in this video report, shows how, since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, civilian residential areas around the country have become the systematic target of indiscriminate bombings by Russian forces, and notably with the use of cluster munitions.

French energy giant Total to stop buying Russian oil

International — Link

The French company, now known as TotalEnergies, said it has decided to halt all its purchases of Russian oil and petroleum products by the end of the year.

Exiled Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachev on Putin’s ‘junta’ and why Ukraine marks its downfall

International — Interview

Exiled Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachev, who became dubbed “the Kremlin’s banker”, was once part of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, until he was eventually cast out by the Russian president and took refuge abroad. In this interview with Mediapart, he details how Putin and his close allies, what he calls “a junta which has captured power, all the money and all the institutions of the state”, function. He denounces a system of corruption on a vast scale, including that of foreign politicians, argues why the decision to wage war on Ukraine marks “the end of Putin’s Russia”, and describes French President Emmanuel Macron’s frequent calls to Putin as “ridiculous”.

How Russia built its soft power in France

France — Interview

For years, Russia led a vast campaign to promote its standing and influence in western Europe, and particularly in France, where the Kremlin’s soft-power strategy had notably, and successfully, targeted political and business circles. In this interview with Mediapart, Marlène Laruelle, director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University, details the history and reach of Russia’s drive to gain influence in France, and which was “destroyed in a matter of days, and for several years to come” following its invasion of Ukraine.

French MEPs sanctioned for Russia election monitoring trips

France — Link

The four French MEPs — Nicolas Bay, Hervé Juvin, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, and Thierry Mariani — went to Russia to observe parliamentary elections last September even though there was no formal mission to do so.

Why we need a new spirit of internationalism to counter Russian imperialism

France — Opinion

The invasion of Ukraine is now forcing the world to face up to the unprecedented threat posed by Russian imperialism. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that what is needed is a surge of international solidarity to defend and help the Ukrainian people who are resisting that aggression.