French politicians to visit Donbas to “support Russian army being bombarded by Ukraine”

Left to right: Councilors Hubert Fayard, Christiane Pujol, Christian Borelli from the Bouches-du-Rhône county, southern France, who are going to illegally visit the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine. Photograph: FB christiane.pujol.1 

International, More, War in Donbas

A group of French local councilors started off from Marseille for Moscow on June 22. The politicians are going to illegally visit occupied Donetsk in the east of Ukraine to “support the Russian army constantly bombarded by Ukraine.” However, they forgot that Russia still didn’t admit its military presence in the eastern Ukraine.

Three French local politicians from Bouches-du-Rhône county in southern France have kicked off their visit to Moscow to later illegally enter a Ukrainian region occupied by Russia. The group consists of the next politicians:

  • Christian Borelli, a municipal councilor in Vitrolles, a commune in Bouches-du-Rhône department, southern France (the Republican party).
  • Christiane Pujol, a departmental councilor of the Bouches-du-Rhône county, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur province. (Debout la France). She travels with her husband.
  • Hubert Fayard, departmental president of the National Centre of Independents and Peasants party, municipal councilor in Coudoux, another commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department.

The councilors wish to “support the Russian army constantly bombarded by Ukraine despite the Minsk agreements,”, in particular, to “provide material support to the orphans of war,” La Provence reported.

Moscow – Donetsk – Moscow

As per the press communique, published by Mr. Fayard on Twitter, the 3 local French councilors will stay in Moscow on June 22-24 where they will meet with MP Leonid Slutsky, a First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs. Then the French politicians are going to be the “guests of the government of the young people’s republic of Donetsk” from June 24 to June 27.  This means that they will probably meet with Aleksandr Zakharchenko, a “head and PM of Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DNR”) who is under the EU sanctions. Mr. Fayard said that Zakharchenko will provide them with armed guards in Donetsk, “especially in the moments when hostilities would rage,” according to La Provence.

The councilors will hold their final press conference in a Moscow’s French restaurant on 27 June evening.

The France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not informed of this trip.

Entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is a violation of Ukrainian legislation for foreigners if they enter “not through the territory of Ukraine, but by any other way.”

One of the participants of the illegal trip has published their upcoming route. The councilors from Provence are going to get to Moscow, then they fly to Rostov-On-Don from the Russian capital, finally, they will reach occupied Donetsk by road:

Of course, the flight mapped by Mr. Fayard over the Ukrainian territory is impossible, the Russian southbound planes round the Ukrainian border while heading the city of Rostov.

Support for the officially nonexistent Russian troops

The 3 French councilors will visit Donetsk to “support the Russian army, but there is a problem. Russia still didn’t admit its military presence in the Donbas.

In June 2014, in an interview with television channel TF1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “There are no armed forces, no ‘Russian instructors’ in Ukraine, and there never were any.”

In December 2015, Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine, stating “We never said there were not people there who carried out certain tasks including in the military sphere.”

However, the Russian President or any other top official still didn’t admit that the Russian regular troops invaded Ukraine and have been stationed in the occupied parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts in the eastern Ukraine,  ignoring all the evidence of the Russian invasion, exclusively Russian weapons used by so-called separatists,  proven involvement of the Russian military units in the conflict.

Not the first Russian-staged visit to occupied territories

There is no real country in the world that recognized the so-called LNR and DNR as independent states. Even Russia, which has instigated the conflict in the eastern Ukraine and keeps it active for three years, officially calls the occupied territories “separate areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine”, their unofficial Russian names are T1 and T2 (T stands for territory), as they are called in leaked email messages of Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov.

However, Russia tries to create an illusion of the international recognition of so-called LNR and DNR, inviting any politicians supporting the Russian policy to visit Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk.

"DNR" and "LNR" on a map. Image: Euromaidan Press

“DNR” and “LNR” on a map. Image: Euromaidan Press

    • In February 2015, a delegation of the German party Die Linke visited occupied Donetsk and met with the Russian-installed ruler of “DNR” Aleksandr Zakharchenko.
    • In July 2015, ten French lawmakers visited occupied Crimea. The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has stated that he is “shocked” by those visit because it violated “international law” and “could be used by those who justify Russia’s claims to the peninsula.”
    • In March 2016, Christian Estrosi, head of the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and mayor of Nice, has called the Crimean city of Yalta as belonging to the Russian Federation and signed a letter of intention and renewal of friendly relations with Yalta.
    • In July 2016, eleven French MPs visited Crimea, six of them traveled to the occupied region a year before.
    • In October 2016, an Italian delegation consisting of 18 politicians and businessmen visited the annexed Crimea. The political part of the delegation was largely represented by regional politicians from far-right parties, but the delegation also featured one politician from the left-wing populist party Free Alternative (Alternativa Libera).
    • In May 2017,  the Italian MEP, Eleonora Forenza (Communist Refoundation Party) visited occupied part of Luhansk Oblast for participation in the May Day events:

Among other provocations staged by Russia were openings of so-called diplomatic missions of LNR and DNR fake republics in Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece.


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