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If I were Hollande, I would think who the Mistrals could be used against

If I were Hollande, I would think who the Mistrals could be used against

By Vitaliy Portnikov

If I were Hollande, I would think who the Mistrals could be used against…

Despite the USA and EU having agreed on new sanctions against Russia, the future of the Mistral deal remains unclear. Paris does everything possible to carry out the contract and to deliver at least one helicopter carrier to Moscow. In this delivery, many see a trivial desire not to violate obligations that were undertaken and…well, not to lose jobs.

The French President François Hollande, possibly, feels a personal responsibility both before the customer and the workers to deliver these helicopter carriers. But perhaps the President of France should look at the ongoing process from a wider perspective, and ask himself the following question: “What will the Mistrals actually be used for in Russia?”

Might it be for the Sevastopol children’s amusement? Or might it take the officer’s wives for a ride in Baltiysk, or maybe organize helicopter sightseeing excursions for them, so the ladies would appreciate the views of the Curonian Spit and the channel in Elblag? Or, rather, will it after all be directed against Russia’s potential enemy? It doesn’t take much effort to guess who this potential enemy is — it’s the NATO Block, of which the French Republic is a member.

And if tomorrow Russia has a conflict, even a local one, with this potential enemy, and a French soldier serving his duty becomes a victim, on the one side of the conflict, and one of the Mistral’s crew members will be on the other side of the conflict – in that case, what will the personal responsibility of President Hollande be? Is the life of that French soldier worth that money and jobs? Especially given that there are no guarantees that this soldier will be the only one. And then all of France’s society, all the French press, and everybody around will come down on poor Hollande, even as an ex-politician, asking him: “Why did you sell the Mistrals? Why did you not think about the future? You were the President, not an accountant!”

I would not hurry to argue that such a development is not realistic. A couple of months ago nobody imagined that Russia would be sending saboteurs to Ukraine, making plans to destabilize its neighboring country, in short – will be waging war against it. Moreover, Ukraine is a fraternal country in Russian mythology. But France, forgive me, is an aggressor country, which the Russians fought against the First Patriotic War [in 1812]. If any French citizens are interested to find out more, they’re very welcome to visit the new 1812 First Patriotic War museum, situated in the former Lenin Museum nearby the Kremlin in Moscow. Trust me, you find out many interesting things about yourselves.

It takes some real effort to imagine Ukraine as and enemy, and the Russian leaders have managed to do it. Imagining France as an enemy is a trifling matter! Kutuzov is here to beat up the French! While our forefathers were at war, the French gave up Paris to Hitler! The frog-eaters that bowed to the Yankee! And that’s all you need. The French will be the enemy betrayers, the incarnation of all the evil in the world, the NATO offspring that came to the help of Ukrainian (Latvian, Estonian, Georgian, cross out the extra) fascists. Such a good thing that we have the Mistral so proudly named Novorossiya (New Russia). We will win!

If I were Hollande, I would think who the Mistrals could be used against…

[hr] Source:, translated by Yevheniia Kuzmenko , edited by Alya Shandra, photo by Vasil Ponomariov

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