Le Figaro published critical address to President of Ukraine

15:01, 06 October 2008
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French newspaper publishes anti-Ukrainian article for Russian money?

Le Figaro (France) posted an address to President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko, expressing a concern about tendencies as if taking place in Ukraine. In particular, the address accused Ukrainian powers of their desire to “consider the Ukrainian history separately from Russia”. The authors of the address stated that Ukraine became an independent state namely thanks to its northern neighbor, etc.. Besides, the publication stressed the impossibility of rehabilitation of OUN-UPA warriors [Ukrainian guerillas who fought both against Nazis and Communists, and were repressed by the Soviet regime].

The address was signed by 37 people. Out of them, only 9 were somehow connected with the Ukrainian historical science. The others were officials from regional councils from eastern Ukraine, leaders of NGOs, lawmakers.

According to Delo daily (Ukraine), Russian mass media immediately translated the address into Russian and spread it in the Internet, showing that as if the European press published articles sharing the opinion of Ukrainian intelligentsia, who, in its turn, is opposed to “Russophobe” policy of the Ukrainian President.

However, Ukrainian journalists could not find this article at the web site of Le Figaro. Moreover, the editorial office of the newspaper said they did not prepare any such material.

However, the French Embassy to Ukraine provided Delo journalists with an issue of Le Figaro of September 24, which really contained this address to Victor Yushchenko, on the sixth page. It was not marked as an advertising.

A correspondent of Delo daily called to Le Figaro, and, having introduced himself as an employee of a Ukrainian political party, asked how much would it cost to place a similar address in the French newspaper. Le Figaro said it would cost Euro 21 thousand.

Delo also turned to the people who signed the address – however, the majority of them refused to answer how it happened. Delo established that they really signed an address at an international conference on the second world war issues, which was organized by the Russian Institute for Political Studies, headed by odious Russian lawmaker Sergei Markov. Political scientists here believe that namely this organization paid for the publication.

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