war

'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.

The French-made warships blockading Yemen's starving population

International— Investigation

Video evidence that warships sold by France to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have played an active role in the maritime blockade of Yemen, contributing to the starvation of millions of civilians in what the UN has described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, has emerged in an investigation partnered by Mediapart. Meanwhile, a UN report earlier this month warned that the legality of arms exports to belligerents in the conflict in Yemen by countries including France, Britain and the US “remains questionable”, and that “states may be held responsible for providing aid or assistance for the commission of international law violations”. Antton Rouget and Yann Philippin report.

Crackdown on journalists over exposé of French arms used in Yemen

International

Two journalists from the French online collective Disclose, dedicated to investigative reporting, have been summoned for questioning this month by France’s internal intelligence agency, the DGSI, following their revelations of the massive use of French-made weapons in the devastating war in Yemen. Together with a journalist from state broadcaster Radio France, they are officially suspected of “compromising national defence secrecy”, an offence that can carry a five-year jail term. In reality, the journalists exercised their professional duty to inform the public of a confidential military report that demonstrates how the government has concealed the truth of the deployment of French-made arms in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition accused of war crimes.

Macron says France helped avoid war in Lebanon

France— Link

French president took credit for solving political crisis in Lebanon last year and stated that Saudi Arabia had held PM Saad al-Hariri for weeks. 

Dunkirk flotilla sails to France for 75th anniversary events

France— Link

Around 50 small boats arrived in the French port to commemorate Operation Dynamo in which 338,000 troops were rescued from Nazi forces.

French secret agent Bob Maloubier dies aged 92

France— Link

An agent in the Special Operations Executive in World War 2, Maloubier was tasked with sabotage and spying on Nazi forces in France.

Life and death amid the ruins of conflict

Portfolios— 15 photos

Russian freelance photographer Sergey Ponomarev has spent the last two years covering events in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Ukraine. His award-winning work has been regularly featured in The New York Times and French weekly Paris Match. He began his career with Associated Press in Moscow in 2003, initially focusing on Russian society and culture before covering the 2006 conflict between Israel and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah group, and later, in 2011, the Libyan revolution. A freelance since 2012, the 34-year-old has continued his reporting of conflict zones, from the civil war in Syria, from Gaza and Israel during the 2014 Israeli offensive in Gaza codenamed ‘Protective Edge’, and the Ukraine, during both the uprising that toppled former president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and the subsequent pro-Russian separatist conflict in the east of the country. A collection of his work is currently being showcased in Paris, at the Galerie Iconoclastes (see details bottom of page) in an exhibition on until June 9th. Mediapart presents here below a selection of 15 compelling and often disturbing photos from those on display, and which vividly illustrate both the horrors of war and the staggering capacity of peoples to retrieve a semblance of normality amid surrounding turmoil.

The mystery of the 'disappeared' of Gaza

International— Report

The International Committee of the Red Cross calls it “a major problem”, while the United Nations says it has no idea of the numbers involved. The one thing that is certain is that at least hundreds of families in Gaza are still looking for relatives who have disappeared without trace following the 50-day Israeli offensive that began in July. For some, the answer may lie beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings that still litter the land. But there is also speculation that other missing Palestinians may be detained in Israel, or have met death as they fled by sea to Europe. Mediapart’s Middle East and North Africa affairs correspondent Pierre Puchot reports from Gaza on an enduring mystery that has become something of a taboo.

‘Peach war’ brewing between France and Spain

France— Link

Around 150 Spanish fruit-laden trucks stopped by officials as French growers complain of unfair 'dumping' of produce in their home market.

Churchill envisaged France declaring war on UK over Mers-el-Kebir

International— Link

A top-secret telegram shows Churchill considered France might declare war on UK in 1940 in retaliation for Royal Navy's sinking of its fleet. 

Syria: war, silence and lies

International— Link

The United States and France – though no longer Britain, it seems- are poised to intervene militarily in Syria. While helping to remove the Assad regime is an urgent priority, the expected campaign of air strikes seems like a headlong rush without legal basis. And one which is a form of camouflage for past errors and acts of cowardice, the opportunistic management of public opinion and a possible trigger for a regional cataclysm with incalculable consequences. Yet, argues Mediapart editor François Bonnet, there are alternatives.

Why France is gearing up for a culture war with the United States

France— Link

France says that it will not start negotiations on transatlantic trade talks if cultural industries are not excluded from the start.

Islamists launch new attack on Gao in northern Mali

International— Link

Islamist rebels launched attack on the northern town of Gao, liberated from their control in January, but were repelled after two hours of fighting.

Hollande says Islamist 'leaders' killed in Mali

International— Link

French president does not name 'terrorist leaders' killed in recent fighting in Mali, where a fourth member of French forces died on Wednesday.

Currency war likely between Germany, France

France— Link

Berlin favors a stronger euro, but France's president says the single currency’s heady rise on the foreign exchanges needs to be brought under control.