mercredi 9 mai 2018

Marianne and Ivan, a glamorous couple? Facts about the so called «French Russophilia» since Napoleon

Naval flag comemorating the Franco-Russian alliance of 1891 - Russophilia
Naval flag comemorating the Franco-Russian
alliance of 1891
Numerous myths, created by the past Soviet and the today Kremlin's propaganda, are still polluting the perception of French “Russophilia"[1] in former USSR countries and in the mind of people who grew up in this environment. “Russophilia”, is perceived by anti-Putin activists as compromising with what they consider Putin’s megalomania. Meanwhile, the pro-Putin side accuses the other side of “Russophobia"[2]. This prevents the addressing of real issues. This leads to dead ends and creates misunderstandings between France and the Eastern European countries at a time when they all need to work together in a more dangerous world.

It is, sometimes, assessed that French Russophilia dates back to the Napoleonic era. In this article, we will confront this assessment with some tangible facts, situations and events based on geography and history. We will also try to understand how this perception could have been spread. It may help to debunk the current impact of the former Soviet propaganda and its recycling by the Kremlin. It will also help to reach, hopefully, a more balanced comprehension regarding the affinity or the repulsion which marked the French vision on Russia over a bit more than two centuries.

Index


I. Due to its geographical location, France is largely ignorant about Russia


II. Publications and French positions during the XIX century were mostly unfavorable towards Russia


III. The Russophile peak of 1892 -1917 terminated in French people losing their investment and in Bolshevik phobia


IV. Legends and silences about the "Great Patriotic War", the remarkable French Russophile puzzle


V. Cold war mistrust


VI. Since 2008, is the Russo-Putinophilia, a new religion in France


VII. French and Russian ties as seen from the East


Conclusion: Russophilia, Putinism, Russophobia, in France?


To index

I. Due to its geographical location, France is largely ignorant about Russia


Let's start with a basic geographic observation, which is so often forgotten abroad. France has no common borders with Russia. Moreover, no France's neighbor is a neighbor of Russia. It creates some differences of interpretation and experiences with other countries closer from Russia. Waiting for the French people to express the same opinion about Russia as the nations living at Russia’s borders is a vain expectation, sometimes resulting in French bashing, detrimental to the unity and the international cooperation required to face an aggressive imperialism.

From an historical perspective, a detailed review of the XVIII century (Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Alexandre Le Blond, Jean-François Thomas de Thomon, Jean-François de La Pérouse, Jean-Baptiste Barthélémy de Lesseps, etc.) is evidence that Russophilia emerged before Bonaparte. Nevertheless, we will only look at the period starting with Napoleon to address an historical deception and to not get lost in an overflow of information.

In France the “ennemi héréditaire / hereditary enemy” was England and, then, the United Kingdom. Because of Louis XIV's wars (including the two dreadful Palatinate's devastations by Turenne & Louvois) and Napoleon's wars, France created a large hostility among the German people, which partly explains the three bloody confrontations between 1870 and 1945. Meanwhile, except during Cold War, Russia (as USSR) was not the main threat for France. Does it mean France saw Russia as a friendly country? Let's compare the connections between France and Russia to the connections between France and Poland, the second country being a permanent opponent of Russia since Russia’s "Time of troubles" (Смутное время) in the beginning of XVII century. On September 11th, 1967, in Warsaw, Charles de Gaulle said: «Polish people, French people, we look so much like each other! It is true for economy, for culture, for science. It is true also for politics. From centuries to centuries, our two people never fought each other. On the opposite, the success or the misfortune of one of us was always linked to the success or the misfortune of the other one». French and Russian relations are a different story.

It is worth mentioning that Napoleon thought about invading the English Eastern Indies with the help of the tsar Alexander the 1st. However, the Tilsit treaty (1807) was followed five years later by Napoleon’s Russian campaign. It was not a Russophile expedition. At the same time (1812), Napoleon wanted to dismantle the Russian Empire and to establish a Ukrainian independent state[3] . During this period, if we want to speak about French russophilia, it is probably better to mention the duc de Richelieu, governor and real founder of Odessa (Odesa, today in Ukraine). However, he was an opponent of the French regime. Subsequently, France was not a part of the «Holy Alliance» (1815: Russia, Austria and Prussia) which was intended to maintain the order resulting from the Congress of Vienna. French opinion was shocked by the repression of the 1830 and 1848 revolutions, especially by the Russian intervention in Hungary (1848). In the XIX century, Poland and, de facto, Ukraine had russification forced upon them, leading to public outrage in France.
Napoleon invasion - Moscow fire 1812 - Russophobia
Napoleon invasion - Moscow fire 1812

For the XXI century, the low - and decreasing - knowledge in France about Russia can be evidenced by the sinking nuber of requests for Russian language learning. The number of Russian classes, in schools and high schools, between 1980 and 2005 dropped by 60% reaching a low of 13,420 pupils[4]. In the past, at the university level, Russian language, Russian literature and history were studied by future professors, Russia's specialists. This demand almost disappeared. The academical interest was just partly replaced by some French businessmen, who want to learn the language of the country where they intend to develop their activity. Today, we can add that the future does not look favorable for the Russian language, even in the business world, due to sanctions resulting from the Crimea Russian Invasion and from the Kremlin's war in Donbas at a time of a fast growing Chinese economy. In France, the Chinese language may replace Russian almost completely as a second language, because it will offer more opportunities. The number of French pupils learning the Chinese language is already bigger than the number of those learning Russian. From 2003, in 10 years, the Chinese language learning has increased 400% to 33,000 pupils in 2013.

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II. Publications and French positions during the XIX century were mostly unfavorable towards Russia


«The letters from Russia» (1839) by the Marquis de Custine[5] have been a longtime mandatory reference for all French people interested in Russia. They are still mentioned in today’s publications. Numerous Custine's observations are still relevant for the Putin's Russia. Even during the Soviet period, in 1951, General Walter B. Smith, chief of the American secret services, recommended his team to read this book for a better understanding of a potential enemy. Louis Léouzon Le Duc followed Custine's “tradition”. He published “La Question Russe”[6] (The Russian question) in 1853 to prevent the French government from having friendly ties with Russia.

This negative presentation of Russia was not limited to the political sphere. The Comtesse de Ségur, a Russian born lady[7] is one of the most popular French children’s book writers. In 1863, she published “Le Général Dourakine” (General Durakin). The title speaks by itself. “Durak” (дурак) means “stupid” and “idiot”.
Comtesse de Ségur, Marquis de Custine, Léouzon Le Duc, Russophobia
Comtesse de Ségur | Marquis de Custine |Léouzon Le Duc

France and the United Kingdom obstructed Russian expansion in Balkans. They also denied its appetite for Constantinople and the Turkish straits. The major event of this policy was the Crimean War (1853-1856). After the Russian Turkish war (1877-1878), the French and the British containment strategy prevented Russian control over large territories bordering the Black Sea. The most striking consequence was the passage to Austria of the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Treaty of Berlin, 1878, where France was co-signer.
Crimea war - Sebastopol siege - Capture of Malakoff Tower by General Mac-Mahon, September 8, 1855 (by Adolphe Yvon) Russophobia
Crimea war - Sebastopol siege - Capture of Malakoff Tower by General Mac-Mahon, September 8, 1855
(by Adolphe Yvon)

We need to mention the seventeenth-century work by the Frenchman Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan even though it precedes the period under review. It is one of the earliest and most colorful of the West European descriptions of Ukraine and the Cossacks[8] [9]. Later, Casimir Delamare, another Frenchman, was the first foreigner, who drew attention to, according to him, the falsified history of the Russian Empire. “There is a nation in Europe, forgotten by historians – Ruthenians (le peuple Ruthann). 12.5 millions of whom live under the reign of Russian tsar, and 2.5 millions under the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Number of this people is equal to the people of Spain, three times bigger than the Czechs and equal to the number of all the patrials of the St. Stephen’s crown. This nation exists, it has a history”. In 1869, he addressed a petition to the French Senate[10] for reforming the French history education in order to correct the biased vision of the past. “He also was first to raise at the state level the issue of protection of the Ukrainian people, who in the last quarter of the XVIII century was under the yoke of the tzar of Moscow, and in the XIX century was almost completely forgotten in Europe”[11]. However, still influenced by the Russian and the Soviet censorship, Ukraine widely ignores Beauplan and Delamare.

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III. The Russophile peak of 1892 -1917 terminated in French people losing their investment and in Bolshevik phobia


1893 political cartoon depicting the Franco-Russian Alliance. Marianne and the Russian bear embrace - Russophilia
1893 political cartoon depicting the Franco-Russian
Alliance. Marianne and the Russian bear embrace
Eventually, the “Franco-Russian Alliance” treaty, which was intended to contain the bellicose German empire, came into effect in 1892. The 25 years period of time from 1892 to 1917 is considered the most Russophile in France for three reasons: 1. the level of the French financial involvement in Russia implied the keeping confidence in Russia as a debtor, 2. the massive Russian propaganda and the millions spent for this purpose, 3. the German peril. Because of this German danger, the United Kingdom joined, in 1903, the "Franco-Russian Alliance". This alliance became known as the “Triple Entente”. This was an important event, because at that time Russian and British were rivals in what was called “The Great Game”[12] in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, namely the British Indian Empire. During this period, it was because of this rivalry that the United Kingdom was largely a Russophobic country.
Postcard celebrating the military review that brought together 140,000 French soldiers, near Reims September 21, 1901 - Russophilia
Postcard celebrating the military review that brought together 140,000 French soldiers,
Near Reims September 21, 1901 - With Tsar Nicolas II and President Emile Loubet -
Marianne as an allegoria of French Republic

Cover of an anti-bolshevik brochure, 1919  by Adrien Barrière (1877 - 1931)
Cover of an anti-bolshevik brochure, 1919
by Adrien Barrière (1877 - 1931)
The Triple Entente was broken in 1917. At this time French investment represented 30% of total foreign investments in Russia. The repudiation of the Russian loans (1/3 of French savings) spoiled numerous French families of their investments. It ended the temporary infatuation. France even sent troops to defend Poland (including Charles de Gaulle in 1920) and to fight against the Bolshevik revolution in Russia (1917 – 1919). Moreover, there are discussions among historians about the fact that the diplomatic telegrams sent to the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR 1917/1920) could be considered as a “de facto” recognition of Ukraine as a sovereign state[13].

Saint Sophia's Cathedral (Собор Святої Софі) in Kyiv is the best known landmark and the first site in Ukraine to be recognized by on the World Heritage List along with the Kyiv Cave Monastery complex. Pavel Postyshev, a Bolshevik Stalinist, one of the organizers of the man-made famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine in the 1930s, planned to demolish St. Sophia's and St. Michael's cathedrals. It is said that St Sophia was saved thanks to Romain Rolland, a French Nobel Prize laureate for literature. He might have sent a letter to Stalin, disclosing that St. Sophia is inseparably linked with the French queen, Anna Yaroslavna[14], so the French intelligentsia would appreciate it if the oldest historical site was kept intact.

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IV. Legends and silences about the "Great Patriotic War", the remarkable French Russophile puzzle


Normandie Niemen post stamp, 1969, by Pierre Gandon - Russophilia
Normandie Niemen post stamp, 1969, by Pierre Gandon
The Normandie-Niemen Fighter Regiment is a great source of misinterpration and confusing narrative. It is sometimes said this regiment emphasizes the "unique" brotherhood between the French and Russian nations during WW2. The heroism of our compatriots in this regiment is not to be questioned. However, it should be placed in its context. Free France and its Free French Forces (France Libre and Forces françaises libres), the government in exile led by Charles de Gaulle during WW2, and its military forces were set up in London in June 1940 to organize and support the Resistance in occupied France. Meanwhile USSR and Germany observed a non belligerence status and an agreement for sharing Eastern Europe under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and its secret additional protocol.

Although facing tumultuous relations with Winston Churchill, Free France major support actually came from Churchill’s government. The main alliance was with the UK, not with the USSR. In February 1942, the Normandie Niemen Fighter Regiment was dispatched as a show of cooperation for Stalin, a post war diplomatic investment from the Général de Gaulle. However, it was not the only nor the biggest assistance provided by the allies to USSR.

Read "The cruel sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat and "The HMS Ulysses" by Alistair MacLean to learn about the bravery of the thousands of merchant mariners and Navy sailors from the UK and USA protecting merchant ships in the deadly artic convoys to Archangelsk and Murmansk. Eighty-five merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost. These convoys are not frequently mentioned in Russia. They delivered 3,900,000 tons of goods to support Soviet war effort. Being the most dangerous convoys, they constituted some 23% of the total aid to the USSR during the war (Persian Corridor convoys: 4,160,000 tons, 27% of total | Pacific Route convoys: 8,244,000 tons, 50% of total).
Artic convoy to Murmansk, WW2 - Russophilia
Artic convoy to Murmansk, WW2

Alaska-Siberian air road (ALSIB), WW2 - Russophilia
Alaska-Siberian air road (ALSIB), WW2
Another was the essential American contribution, Alaska-Siberian air road (ALSIB), which delivered 6,000 airplanes. It is largely ignored. Strangely the main ALSIB reference, in French, can be found in the novel written by Andrei Makine[15], a today’s pro-Putin author[16]. However, what should we understand about the Wikipedia link "ALSIB – The Route of Courage: Voice of Russia" [17]? It became a broken link. Is it an accident, caused by the conversion of "Voice of Russia" into "Sputniknews"? Is it a deliberate decision to hide this US contribution to the "Great Patriotic War"?
Planes, Douglas A-20 Havoc, of the Alaska-Siberian air road - Russophilia
Planes, Douglas A-20 Havoc,
of the Alaska-Siberian air road

Highlighting the Normandie Niemen Regiment, ignoring the Arctic convoys and the Alaska-Siberian air road proves that the Kremlin’s propaganda, affects even those believing to be anti-Putinists. It shows how France is of specific geopolitical importance for Moscow. It has very little to do with an immemorial and privileged friendship and/or a true Russophilia in our country. This “window-dressing” was, and is again, intended to create divisions inside the western camp. Meanwhile, USA were, and are again, presented as the Russia’s enemy for internal purposes, bringing diversions to internal problems and providing an illusion of “grandeur”. It is not an accident that Putin refers so often to a potential second “Cold war.

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V. Cold war mistrust


Anti-american poster by  French communist party,  1952 - "American people in America!" - Russophilia
Anti-american poster by
French communist party,
1952 - 
"American people
in America!"
During the cold war, thanks to its nuclear status, France could have a more independent foreign policy than its European partners. However, even not being part of the integrated command, France was always a pillar of NATO and attended its military drills. In January 1983, in front of the German Bundestag, President François Mitterrand reminded: «Missiles are in the east, pacifists are in the west», in supporting the deployment of US Pershing cruise missiles. Moreover, there was a specific integrated coordination between France, UK and USA regarding their own nuclear submarines and the tracking of Soviet ones.
Poster published by the anti-communist movement " Paix et Liberté" (Peace & Freedom), 1952. - Russophobia
Poster published by the anti-communist movement " Paix et Liberté" (Peace & Freedom), 1952.

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VI. Since 2008, is the Russo-Putinophilia, a new religion in France?


Nicolas Hénin[18] indicates that the Kremlin enforced its propaganda in France after the Georgian war (2008) and boosted its network in France. The economic difficulties, the tensions on immigration, the same sex marriage law, the Sakorzy/Fillon's complacency regarding Moscow and the weak François Hollande, prevented to publicly address the Kremlin’s propaganda issues. It offered a favorable environment for a new French Russophilia or, more exactly, for a strong Putinophilia.

In Moscow, French "official delegations" are specially well treated and are shown a sort of Potemkin Russia, notwithstanding the fact that Moscow city is not really Russia. As Russian people say, Moscow is a "State in the State". For the rest of the French population, as explained in § I., its knowledge of Russia is poor and decreasingly. So, Winston Churchill's warning also applies to France: «Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma».

The first consequence of this, is that French Putinists replace "reality" with "belief" in Russia, seen as a «Shangri-La[19]». This custom-made country of Russia is where all the dreams and all the phantasms are realized for the French Putinists. Because this creation represents expectations and no tangible experiences, the vision cannot be challenged. The second consequence of the lack of real knowledge about Russia is to open a free space for Kremlin fake news and propaganda. Today, no country is as successful as Russia in forcing its virtual reality on France.

Cover examples of "No Mistrals for Putin" articles debunking Kremlin fake news | 2014 - 2015   - Putinophobia
Cover examples of "No Mistrals for Putin" articles
debunking Kremlin fake news | 2014 - 2015 
Most of the Putinists in France claim to be sovereigntists and patriots. However, they act as if they were not French nationals anymore. They react as devout subjects of Putin's empire. Thought, they don't know their "new country" of substitution, they systematically rejoice for any, even fake, Putin's success. They are involved in sharing and spreading Kremlin's fake news. Against their opponents, they are inspired by Kremlin's methods like pedophilia  or neo-nazi accusations, homophobic campaigns and tortious defamation. They depreciate any French success. They applaud the actual or fancied difficulties of their native country expecting and encouraging chaos for French national discord. They participate in the disintegration of the French and European civil society. They push the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-parliamentarian extremism. Actually they endanger not only the rule of law but also the French sovereignty.
1. I raise my glass "cheers" to Hollande, this schmuck. He is the one who will refund my boats.
2. Did you see this one?
3. A man, a real one. A schmuck, a real one.
4. When adults talk, you shut your mouth

The social impact is a heavy one. Russophilia, and more precisely Putinophilia, as disclosed above, is experienced as a religion disparaging to all facts contrary to Putin’s parallel universe. Putinophiles overuse "Anti-Russian hysteria[20]" and "Russophobia[21]", key-words implemented by the Kremlin[22], as a standard «answer» used by Putinists to counter their contradictors. Though, not only concerning France, the article, "The Origins of Russophobia” [23], on the official website of the English church of the Moscow Patriarchate is magisterial and a freaking illustration of this religious and putinist mix. It does deserve a parallel with some Islamist imam preaches.

Due to numerous reasons, even if the number of Putinists does not decrease, today (May 2018) their number seems to be contained. No new Putinist names appeared in a little more than one year. The French population is now officially alerted to the Kremlin information manipulations despite the fact of numerous fake news still being disseminated. At least, the national opinion is less naive[24]. The 1892 - 1917 period was a peak of French Russophilia which ended in bitter disillusions, see § III. The years 2008 to 2017 presented a new and dangerous high peak of blind russophilia in France. It is too early to figure out what will be all its consequences. Whatsoever, the French level of Putinism is still too high, today, and is contrary to French national interests. It should be debunked.

Recently on April 25, 2018, in front of the American congress, President Emmanuel Macron said: «On April 25, 1960, General de Gaulle affirmed in this Chamber that nothing was as important to France as “the reason, the resolution, the friendship of the great people of the United States». Showing it was still up to date, he added: «The miracle of the relationship between the United States and France is that we have never lost this special bond deeply rooted not only in our history, but also in our flesh». We have never read such an official pronouncement from France to Russia or to the USSR.

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VII. French and Russian ties as seen from the East


Now, leave France to focus on the Russian empire. French speaking people came as nannies or tutors in the Russian empire to teach French, which was the language of the Tsar's court, and of the noble families. This influence from France should not be overestimated. Some of the tutors or nannies came from Belgium and, in larger number, from Switzerland[25]. In the Congress of Vienna, Alexander the 1st, for example, declared, "Everything I know, I owe it to Switzerland".

Moreover, this French contribution cannot reach the level of German achievements in Russia, both in terms of geographical explorations and scientific development. The outstanding adventures of the geologist Jean-Pierre Alibert[26] and the Batagol mine (1848) in the Eastern Sayan Mountains (eastern Siberia) remains a forgotten and isolated French exploration case in Russia. Besides, it should be mentioned that Alibert did not work with Russian people but with the indigenous Soyot[27] people for whom he is still, today, a legend. His client for the extracted graphite was not a Russian company but Faber-Castell, in the German city of Nuremberg.

Marius Petipa was decisive for Russian ballets fame. French influence in Russia regarding architecture (mainly Auguste Ricard de Montferrand, for post Napoleon's period) is not a minor one. However, it probably does not match the Italian one which started as early as the design of the Moscow Kremlin walls.

No Tsars or no Tsarinas were of French origins, while numerous of them had German blood. Here, it could be relevant to mention that President Macron countered Putin's attempt, on May 29, 2017, to appropriate the Ukrainian heritage by declaring a former queen of the Franks, Anna Yaroslavna, to be Russian. On June 26, 2017, at a press conference[28] with Ukrainian President Poroshenko, the French president clarified:
"There is a very long-standing relationship between our two countries (Ukraine & France), a very deep history, and we spent this time for some time today to pay tribute to Anne of Kyiv, and you showed how important this history of the 11th century is, how ancient our deep-rooted relationship »

There was a fascination regarding France among Russian elites, mostly the Dekabrists (just a reminder they were deported or executed opponents to the Tsar). Fascination for France can be observed in an unexpected historic character. Despite his devastations, Napoleon is still granted a certain consideration in Russia while he is execrated in other European countries, Poland excepted. Is this because of Russia familiarity with an authoritarian political power? Was Napoleon promoted by the different Russian regimes as representing a system they wanted to implement? Today, in France, there is not such a consideration for any past Russian rulers. The current French Putinists devotion refers to other motivations.

Russophile sketch, 2015, by www.macharmante.com - Russophilia
Russophile sketch, 2015, by www.macharmante.com
The best expression for the platonic Russian love for France was summarized, in 1892, by Pavel Bezobrazov[29] :
“Pусские увлекались Францией и французской культурой, а французы знали Россию очень плохо, а то, что они о нас знали, в большинстве случаев не представлялось им симпатичным”
(Russians were fond of France and French culture, and French people knew Russia very badly, and what they knew about us, in most cases, did not seem nice to them). Despite the massive 2008 - 2017 Kremlin's propaganda, see § VI., the asymmetrical view between Russia and France still prevails today.


According to a 2013 BBC survey[30], only 25% of French people viewed Russia's influence positively, with as much as 63% having a negative view. Meanwhile 49% of Russians viewed French influence positively, with 10% expressing a negative view. In 2017, Pew Research Center said[31], 36% of French people have a favorable view of Russia, with 62% expressing an unfavorable view.
French views on Putin and Russia - Pew Research Center, August 2017
Pew Research Center, August 2017

To index

Conclusion: Russophilia, Putinism, Russophobia, in France?


Since the Napoleonic era, it is not possible to say whether France is overall a Russophile or a Russophobic country. To a Kremlin Soviet-like propaganda, France as a true Russophile country is more attractive. In France, only Putinophiles like Mrs. Le Pen, M. Mariani or M. Dhuicq and other Putin's lobbyists can talk about a «multisecular alliance» [32] between Paris and Moscow.

It is France's challenge to develop good relations with Eastern Europe countries which became independent after the collapse of the USSR. It also applies to other countries of the former Warsaw Pact. We have to contribute to their knowledge of France to help them develop a good dialogue with France. That's what the Franco-Ukrainian «Comite Ukraine 33»[33] for the Holodomor and "Ukraine Action"[34], NGO for human rights does. That is the aim of the Chaika[35] project in a completely different environment. This is the information shared by researchers and writers like Nicolas Hénin[36] , Cécile Vaissié[37], Laurent Chamontin[38]...

This is a long tern effort. It needs determination, analysis, fairness and transparent information. The tempting and easy verbiage based on demagogy, emotional assessments or cheap nationalism are just misleading for France and for the other nations. Bottom line, it is contrary to their common interests. Each of us has a responsibility, to help in the efforts of those working to overcome the divisions amongst good people.

Author: Bernard Grua, Nantes, 05/05/2018 - Extensive individual traveler in former USSR (especially in Siberia) - Euromaidan witness and promoter - Co-founder and spokesperson of "No Mistrals for Putin" - Co-founder and contributor of "Maintien des sanctions"- Active member and blogger of the association "Presvyata Pokrova" for the restoration of the Cossack chaika - Contributor to Ukrainian medias (Informnapalm, Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Ukrinform)

Edited by: Peter J Piaseckyj

Notes:
To index
[1] Russophilia definition: we will consider Russophilia as a strong interest, for a non native Russian, in the country, culture, or people of Russia.
[2] Russophobia definition: we will consider Russophobia as an intense and often irrational hatred for Russia, Russians or Russian culture
[3] René Martel - “Le problème de l'Ukraine” (The problem of Ukraine) - 1938
[4] Maria Tchobanov - Russia beyond the headlines - “L’apprentissage du russe cède du terrain en France” (Russian language learning is losing ground in France) - March 2014.
[5] Astolphe de Custine - "Lettres de Russie (La Russie en 1839)"
[6] Louis Léouzon Le Duc - "La question russe: I. Le prince Menschikoff.--II. L'église gréco-russe.--III. La Russie devant l'Europe" - 1853
[7] Comtesse de Ségur: daughter of Count Fyodor Vasilyevich Rostopchin, Moscow Governor at the time of Napoleon's invasion
[8] Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan (Гійом Левассёр де Боплан) - « Description d’Ukranie qui sont plusieurs provinces du royaume de Pologne contenues depuis les confins de la Moscouie, jusques aux limites de la Transilvanie, ensemble leurs mœurs, façons de vivre et de faire la guerre » - 1650.
[9] A Description of Ukraine, Beauplan, Harvard University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-916458-44-x)
[10] Casimir Delamare — Petition to the French Senate: "Un peuple européen de quinze millions d'habitants, oublié devant l'histoire. Pétition au Sénat de l'empire demandant une réforme dans l'enseignement de l'histoire". Paris, 1869. 1 broch. in-8°
[11] Teheyra Zoulle - "Historical Rehab of Ukraine-Ruthenia" - July 10, 2014
[12] Peter Hopkirk - “The great game” - 1990.
[13] Wolodymyr Kosyk - "La politique de la France à l'égard de l'Ukraine” (France's policy towards Ukraine - 1981
[14] Anna Yaroslavna: Anna of Kyiv, daughter of the Grand Prince Yaroslav, wife of the King of the Franks, Henry the 1st, and mother of the king Philipp the 1st
[15] Andreï Makine: “La Terre et le ciel de Jacques Dorme” (The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme) - 2004.
[16] Thomas Tissaud, bibliobs - "Andreï Makine : un poutinien à l’Académie française" (Andrei Makine: a Putinist in the French Academy) - December 2016
[17] "ALSIB – The Route of Courage: Voice of Russia." Dead link http://english.ruvr.ru/2008/01/28/174235.html,
[18] Nicolas Hénin - “La France Russe” (The Russian France) - May 2016
[19] "Shangri -La" is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. He presents Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, a permanently happy land, isolated from the world. The name also evokes the imagery of exoticism of the Orient. - Wikipedia
[20] Hysteria: ungovernable and irrational emotional excess
[21] Phobia: anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation, to a degree greater than the actual danger poses.
[22] DFR lab - "PutinAtWar: How Russia Weaponized “Russophobia" - February 14, 2018
[23] "Father Andrew” - "The Origins of Russophobia” - Orthodox England - July 6, 2015,
[24] Bernard Grua - “La pénétration du poutinisme en France, progression ou endiguement?” (Putinism penetration in France, progression or containment?) - April 2018
[25] Danièle Tosato-Rigo - "L’appel de l’est Des gouvernantes et précepteurs romands en Russie" - NIKE-Bulletin 1-2 | 2015
[26] Bernard Grua - "Jean Pierre Alibert, Batagol et le pays secret des Soyots" (Jean-Pierre Alibert and the secret land of Soyot people), july 2008
[27] Wikipedia - The Soyot people live mainly in the Oka region in the Okinsky District in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia. According to the 2010 census, there were 3,608 Soyots in Russia. Their extinct language was of a Turkic. They live dispersed among the Buryats
[28] Front News International "Macron called Anne of Kyiv a symbol of relations between France and Ukraine" - June 2017
[29] Pavel Bezobrazov “О сношениях России с Францией” (About the relations between Russia and France) - 1892
[30] BBC 2013 "Country Rating Poll Global Release" - May 2013
[31] Pew Research Center - "Publics Worldwide Unfavorable Toward Putin, Russia" - November 30, 2017.
[32] Nicolas Dhuicq - "Intervention à l’Assemblée Nationale" (Speech in front of the French National Assembly for leveraging the sanctions) - 28/04/2016
[33] Comité Ukraine 33: http://ukraine33.free.fr/
[34] Ukraine Action: https://ukraineaction.org
[35] Bernard Grua - «Tchaïka, la diplomatie fraternelle des Cosaques en Bretagne» (Chaika, the fraternal diplomacy of the Cossacks in Brittany) - August 2016
[36] Nicolas Hénin - “La France Russe” (The Russian France) - May 2016
[37] Cécile Vaissié - "Les réseaux du Kremlin en France" (The Kremlin networks in France) - March 2016
[38] Laurent Chamontin - "L'empire sans limites: Pouvoir et société dans le monde russe" (The limitless empire: Power and society in the Russian world)- January 2014 & "Ukraine et Russie : pour comprendre" (Ukraine and Russia: to understand) - 2016