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.

France urges citizens to leave Russia if presence 'not essential'

International — Link

Paris had already advised French citizens passing through Russia to leave the country.

Why French presidential hopeful Mélenchon is under fire over 'leniency' towards Russia

International — Analysis

Since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine the presidential candidate for the radical left La France Insoumise party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon appears to have changed his tone in relation to the regime in Moscow. He issued a statement condemning the invasion in unequivocal terms. But current events have led to detailed scrutiny of his past and sometimes controversial stances on international relations. In particular, a desire to be “non-aligned” in global political terms has led to claims that Mélenchon – the clear front-runner on the Left in opinion polls - has shown relative lenience towards Vladimir Putin's regime. Pauline Graulle reports.

France joins other European nations to close airspace to Russian aircraft

International — Link

French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said the move will take effect from Sunday night.

French police seize Russian cargo ship in Channel

International — Link

Officials said it could belong to a Russian company suspected of violating trade sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine.

Ex-French PM Fillon resigns from board of Russian firms over Ukraine

France — Link

He said he could not continue being a member of the boards of Russian state-controlled oil company Zarubezhneft and petrochemical company Sibur.

Macron says France will show ‘no weakness’ on Russia sanctions

International — Link

In a televised address to the nation, the French president said that in invading Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin had carried out the 'gravest attack to peace and stability in our Europe for decades'.

Why tensions with Mali could soon lead to France withdrawing its troops

International — Analysis

On Monday January 31st the military-civilian junta running Mali told France's ambassador to leave the country in a further escalation of the tension that has developed between the two nations in recent months. As Rémi Carayol observes, the next stage in the bitter war of words could be an announcement from Paris that France's military forces in the African country will be withdrawn.

Macron to visit Moscow, Kyiv in bid to defuse Ukraine crisis

International — Link

French head of state will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, the Elysée Palace said. 

Mali expels French ambassador after minister's 'outrageous' comments

International — Link

Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last week said the Mali junta was "illegitimate" and "out of control".

French minister accuses Russian mercenaries of ‘despoiling’ Mali

International — Link

Tensions have increased between Paris and the country’s military junta in recent weeks, including over the fate of European forces deployed in the region to fight jihadists.