Staunton, Feb. 19 – The work of its embassies restricted by the rolling up of Russian intelligence operations in many places and the negative response of many people in Western countries to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine have prompted Moscow to expand its efforts to get them to support Moscow and counter anti-Russian attitudes.
The Insider earlier published two extensive articles on Moscow’s efforts in the United States and Germany, focusing in particular on the support the Kremlin enjoys among many recent “relocators” in the West (theins.ru/politika/256770 and theins.ru/politika/258094). Now, it has released on one a different country and a different generation altogether.
In what journalist Diana Fishman describes as the latest portrait of “hurrah compatriots,” the new article looks at France and at the way in which descendants of the first anti-Bolshevik Russian emigration are in an increasing number of cases in Moscow’s corner, defending the Kremlin and seeking to promote Russian influence there (theins.ru/politika/259028).
“In France,” Fishman writes, “the chief resource of Russian ‘soft power’ has become the descendants of White Russian emigres, many of whom are representatives of noble families. Being native Frenchmen, many nonetheless have cooperated with the Russian authorities and helped the Kremlin recruit allies among the French opposition and business communities.”
Her study builds on an earlier one (carnegiecouncil.org/media/series/russian-soft-power-in-france/russian-soft-power-in-france-assessing-moscows-cultural-and-business-para-diplomacy%23_ftn15) and shows just how much this alliance between the descendants of former monarchists and anti-Bolsheviks and the Putin regime has grown.
Fishman’s article provides disturbing evidence of the extent to which the bearers of some of the most distinguished names of the Russian emigration in Paris are now working hand in glove with the Russian embassy and Moscow more directly against the policies of a country that gave their ancestors asylum in the past.