RussiaNovember 1 2022, 19:02 pm

Investigation Reveals Kremlin Ties of Rightwing French Politicians

Euro­pean media is report­ing on an inves­ti­ga­tion that has revealed links between Rus­sia and sev­er­al rightwing and far-right French politi­cians. A EURACTIV report describes what is called “a huge cam­paign to desta­bilise and manip­u­late pub­lic opin­ion by build­ing links to French pub­lic officials:”

Octo­ber 28, 2022 Sev­er­al right-wing and far-right French politi­cians have links to the Krem­lin, accord­ing to a new jour­nal­is­tic inves­ti­ga­tion car­ried out by France 2 which the politi­cians either denied or claimed to know noth­ing about. The inves­ti­ga­tion, which aired on Thurs­day showed that the Krem­lin car­ried out a huge cam­paign to desta­bilise and manip­u­late pub­lic opin­ion, by build­ing links to French pub­lic offi­cials. The for­mer prime min­is­ter and failed pres­i­den­tial can­di­date François Fil­lon, for exam­ple, was found to have built a close rap­port with Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin him­self, accord­ing to the inves­ti­ga­tion. For­mer French Ambas­sador to Rus­sia Stanis­las de Laboulaye claimed the Rus­sians had put togeth­er “a charm oper­a­tion” to seduce Fil­lo to gar­ner polit­i­cal influ­ence ahead of the 2017 French pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. Fil­lon, who went on to win the right-wing party’s pri­maries in 2016, and then lose fol­low­ing accu­sa­tions that he had hired fam­i­ly mem­bers for lit­tle to no work, still ben­e­fit­ed from Putin’s per­son­al sup­port. “François Fil­lon is very dif­fer­ent from today’s politi­cians,” the Russ­ian pres­i­dent said at the time. In 2021, Fil­lon was giv­en seats at the exec­u­tive table of Russ­ian ener­gy firms Zarubezh­neft and Sibur but resigned fol­low­ing Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine. He was also crit­i­cised for mak­ing pro-Russ­ian com­ments about the invasion.

Read the rest here.

François Fil­lon is known as a social con­ser­v­a­tive and pro­po­nent of “fam­i­ly val­ues” who, while a mem­ber of the Nation­al Assem­bly, vot­ed against:

The EURACTIV report also iden­ti­fies two MEPs from Marine Le Pen’s Rassem­ble­ment Nation­al par­ty, one of which was report­ed­ly cho­sen by Russ­ian media oli­garch Kon­stan­tin Mal­ofeev to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fi­den­tial project called “Alt­In­tern:”

Kremlin’s influ­ence strat­e­gy also reach­es deep into Marine Le Pen’s Rassem­ble­ment Nation­al par­ty. Two MEPs, Thier­ry Mar­i­ani and Philippe Olivi­er, have played an exten­sive role in spread­ing the Russ­ian nar­ra­tive at the EU and French lev­els. Mar­i­ani vis­it­ed Rus­sia in 2021 as an observ­er of leg­isla­tive elec­tions and with­in his per­son­al capac­i­ty. His trip was paid for with EU funds, the doc­u­men­tary revealed. As for Olivi­er, he was report­ed­ly cho­sen by Russ­ian media mag­nate Kon­stan­tin Mal­ofeev to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fi­den­tial project called “Alt­In­tern”, which aimed to make a “union of the Euro­pean extreme right”. Mal­ofeev, who in the doc­u­men­tary expressed hap­pi­ness at the rise of Olivi­er, was banned from the EU in 2014 on sus­pi­cion of financ­ing guer­ril­la war­fare in the Don­bas region.

Anoth­er French media report fur­ther describes the val­ues to be pro­mot­ed by the Alt­In­tern project as “Chris­ten­dom as the foun­da­tion of life” and mar­riage pre­sent­ed as “the union of a man and a woman.”

In March 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on leaked emails and doc­u­ments that showed how a Russ­ian influ­ence group known as Tsar­grad was coop­er­at­ing with senior far-right politi­cians in Italy, France, Ger­many, and Aus­tria. As that post detailed, Tsar­grad is fund­ed by the Russ­ian oli­garch Kon­stan­tin Mal­ofeyev (aka Mal­ofeev), known by US intel­li­gence as the Russ­ian Pres­i­den­t’s “right arm for oper­a­tions of polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence in Europe,” and des­ig­nat­ed by the US in 2014 over his inter­fer­ence in Ukraine. A recent UK media pro­file of Mal­ofeyev describes him and his role in fund­ing anti-abor­tion, anti-LGB­TIQ initiatives:

Mal­ofeyev gained his wealth in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing the late 2000s. He has used his pow­er to wage an infor­ma­tion war on Europe, alleged­ly pro­vid­ing loans to far-right par­ties and fund­ing anti-abor­tion, anti-LGB­TIQ ini­tia­tives in the region.   His influ­ence empire includes the Kate­hon think-tank which reg­u­lar­ly plat­forms far-right authors and is “con­sid­ered one of the instru­ments for Russ­ian inter­fer­ence in the West”. The US State Depart­ment describes Kate­hon as “a pro­lif­er­a­tor of vir­u­lent anti-West­ern dis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­pa­gan­da”.   Tsar­grad TV is the pub­lic enter­tain­ment face of Kate­hon. Dubbed by the Finan­cial Times as “God’s TV, Russ­ian style”, the chan­nel was delib­er­ate­ly designed to mim­ic Fox News and judge polit­i­cal can­di­dates’ views on issues such as reli­gion, abor­tion, LGBTIQ rights and Putin.

That post also iden­ti­fied the Alt­In­tern project and its con­nec­tion to the Democ­ra­cy and Iden­ti­ty move­ment, which holds 64 of the 705 seats in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and con­sists of mem­bers of the League and the Nation­al Ral­ly, for­mer­ly known as the Nation­al Front, head­ed by Marine Le Pen.

A GIOR report on the Glob­al Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive Alliance (GNCA) doc­u­ment­ed Russ­ian Putin’s desire to become the ide­o­log­i­cal cen­ter of the GNCA,  cen­tered on nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty, and oppo­si­tion to glob­al insti­tu­tions. That report iden­ti­fied Hun­gary as the cen­ter of that alliance:

Russ­ian Pres­i­dent PUTIN has expressed an inter­est in Rus­sia becom­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal cen­ter of a new glob­al con­ser­v­a­tive alliance, and Euro­pean far-right lead­ers have tak­en pro-Russ­ian posi­tions based on a sim­i­lar ide­ol­o­gy. Hun­gary is at the cen­ter of a devel­op­ing alliance between Euro­pean far-right nationalists and Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tives that Rus­sia could poten­tial­ly exploit for use in infor­ma­tion war­fare. This alliance oper­ates under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” cen­tered on nation­al sov­er­eign­ty, cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty, and oppo­si­tion to glob­al insti­tu­tions and rep­re­sent­ing a poten­tial­ly rad­i­cal change for the US con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment away from long-held Rea­gan-era philosophies

Read the full report here.

GIOR report­ed last week that Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladamir Putin had again deliv­ered a speech exten­sive­ly ref­er­enc­ing cul­ture war themes.

Oppo­si­tion to “gen­der ide­ol­o­gy” is a cen­tral issue for the GNCA and GIOR report­ed last week on the role played by the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium (MCC), a Hun­gar­i­an edu­ca­tion facil­i­ty sup­port­ed by the Orban gov­ern­ment, in dis­sem­i­nat­ing Russ­ian-style anti-LGBTQ pro­pa­gan­da. Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Orban and Marine Le Pen con­grat­u­lat­ed far-right Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Gior­gia Mel­oni on her elec­tion vic­to­ry in Sep­tem­ber. Mel­oni is also known for oppos­ing “gen­der ide­ol­o­gy” and oth­er sim­i­lar cul­ture war themes com­mon­ly espoused by rightwing/conservative West­ern elements.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.