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.
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”.
Amid increasing numbers of refugees arriving in France from war-ravaged Ukraine, the municipal authorities in Paris have set up special provisions for integrating Ukranian children into the city's schools.
The French presidential office, the Élysée Palace, has said that during a conference call on Saturday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, France's president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Putin showed no willingness to end the war with Ukraine.
French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has accused the British authorities of 'a lack of humanity' over their 'completely unsuitable' arrangements for Ukrainian refugees in the French port of Calais where, he said, a lack of consular services led to 150 refugees trying to cross the Channel being told to seek visas in Paris or Brussels.
The Russian invasion has caused a stir inside the French Foreign Legion which has around 700 Ukrainians in its ranks. There have been media rumours of desertions by soldiers who want to go and fight in Ukraine, and the commanding officer has gone public with an appeal for troops to honour their oath to the Legion. Mediapart has meanwhile identified several former legionnaires who are already on the front line and has spoken to one there who claims there are 'a hundred' current and former legionnaire already in Ukraine. Sébastien Bourdon reports.
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.
In a TV address, the French president denounced the "lies" spread by the Russian government to justify war in Ukraine, but said he would remain in contact with President Putin to try to obtain a ceasefire.
The French presidential election is about to get underway in earnest with President Emmanuel Macron finally set to announce his candidature ahead of the elections in April. According to opinion polls his two main rivals are both from the far-right: the Rassemblement National president Marine Le Pen and maverick polemicist Éric Zemmour. Yet both are set to be embarrassed by the far-right's long-held support of Vladimir Putin at a time when Russia has just sparked outrage around the world by invading Ukraine. As historian Nicolas Lebourg reports, the two candidates will find it hard to reconcile the far-right's general support for Putin's regime and the risk of being seen as traitors to French national interests.
For the Ukrainian community in France the news of Russia's invasion of their country sparked fears for families back home and concern over the spectre of a European war, while also prompting a desire to show solidarity. Four young Ukrainian and Russian woman from Toulouse, a city in south-west France which is twinned with Kyiv, told Mediapart of their reaction to the dramatic and tragic events of Thursday February 24th. Emmanuel Riondé reports.