In Paris Thursday, March 14, begins a landmark trial – the defenders of the “Kremlin influence” and Pro-Putin campaign “seduction” sued and accused of libel a well-known author Cecile the Vesi

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Six French public figures who support the policy of Russian President Putin, which he spends not only at home but also in France, have filed simultaneous lawsuits against the author of the book “Kremlin network in France”

Les petits matins

In Paris Thursday, March 14, begins a landmark trial – the defenders of the “Kremlin influence” and Pro-Putin campaign “seduction” sued and accused of libel a well-known author Cecile the Vesi, writer, Slavist and Professor of the University “Rennes 2” in France.

Six French public figures who support the policy of Russian President Putin, which he spends not only at home but also in France, have filed simultaneous lawsuits against the author of the book “Kremlin network in France.” The trial will last for two days, the decision will be made in a few months. The lawsuit was filed also to the publishing house Les petits matins, who published this book, according to “MBH media”.

What did not like several citizens of France, associated with the current Russian authorities, it is clear from the annotation to the book in which the author meticulously collected information is responsible for:

“For several years, the Kremlin has pursued a strong campaign of “seduction” in the countries of the European Union, in order to influence the internal Affairs of many countries of Europe. To this end, the Kremlin combines his concept of soft power (soft power) with the traditional methods of the KGB, in the depths of which formed the majority of the current members of the ruling clan in Russia, – says the annotation to the book Cecil the Vesi. At that time, as the Russian economy is experiencing a severe structural crisis and undermined from the inside exorbitant corruption, the Russian government is funding overseas associations, “think tanks” and propaganda media and the “Troll factory” and networks of influence – the political parties, as supported by the millions of euros received by the National front (marine Le Pen).

Representatives of the Kremlin is actively developing in France’s relations with members of the Russian Diaspora, the French politicians, journalists, businessmen and all those who for various reasons are attracted to the personality of Vladimir Putin.

The question arises: is the policy intervention a threat to France’s security and the integrity of Europe? In the book, Cecile and the Vesi shows how this “effect machine”, invented by Kremlin ideologists. Among the agents of influence it is possible to meet the former officers of the KGB, the Orthodox billionaires, descendants of Russian princes, nostalgic for the lost grandeur of “mother Russia”, many “useful idiots” and a lot of money…”.

The filing claims was done by a lawyer, as all plaintiffs are connected with Russia

As told Cecile the Vesi in an interview with “MBH” media claims against her and the publishers had submitted almost on the last day, when it was possible under the law – no later than three months after the book’s publication. Publication “Kremlin network in France” was released in 2016, but the court had started to consider claims only after three years.

Interestingly, the plaintiffs appealed to the same lawyer. This, according to representatives of Cecile, “proves that this is a joint case.”

Among those who accuse the writer of libel:
– a well-known blogger Olivier Berruyer;
– the head of “coordinating Council of Russian compatriots” Georgy Shepelev;
public figure George kuzmanović;
the wife of the Palacio, the author of the thesis of Alexander Dugin Faith Nikolski;
– author of “Europe and Russia” Pierre Lambla;
– Swiss writer Helene Richard-Favre.

Answering the question of why the six plaintiffs think slander is the fact that they support the policy of Vladimir Putin, Madame the Vesi said that, first, “the problem is that with the exception of Georgy Shepelev, none of those who sued, are not in any official Pro-Russian organizations”.

“They support Putin, but it is now somehow indecent in France, says Cecile the Vesi. – The second option, which is more likely: they decided, or someone decided that it is necessary to intimidate me and my publisher. And generally scare all publishers who wish to publish some books against Putin, because in the future they are waiting for the courts, and the courts is a big waste and time. Basically, in France you have full freedom of speech, especially if you teach at the University. If you do not call for murder, you have complete freedom. And that’s when the six people at the same time sue in court, without any reason… now other publishers will have to think carefully before they decide to publish a book which criticized the Russian government”.

According to “MBH media” if the court side with the plaintiffs, the author of the book “Kremlin network in France” and the publishing house Les petits matins will have to pay fines. However, the book court to forbid can not.

For his part, Cecil the Vesi confident of victory in court. Moreover, it intends to require all six of the plaintiffs had paid her and the publisher compensation for the fact that they used the court for their own purposes.

“Post-Soviet authorities are well aware of how to use our democratic institutions to get people to shut up – Cecile concludes the Vesi. – When you see what they do with Orthodox communities in the South of France, when the ROC takes the parishes, forcing people to move from the Western Orthodox jurisdictions in the Moscow Patriarchate, are events of the same series, and libel suits. People support me because I have a good reputation as a serious researcher. And they want to disturb me and ruin my reputation. In General, the question about the Kremlin’s influence in the Western world is a very big and serious problem.”

Olivier Berruyer

Chief editor of the French blog Les Crises Olivier Berruyer frequently among French experts in Russian state media. To him for the interview and the review appeal of the MIA “Russia Today”, RIA “Novosti”, RT etc.

At home Olivier Berruyer often accused of Pro-Kremlin propaganda. In 2014 he published in his newspaper a series of articles. which accused the French authorities and media biased coverage of the situation in Ukraine and in the Crimea, underestimating the role of the Ukrainian extreme right. In the same 2014, Olivier was accused of manipulating information about the Ukrainian crisis, supporting the Pro-Kremlin Russia Today channel, and a gross libel.

Berrie, according to French media reports, posted in their publications and blogs misinformation on Syria.

The French newspaper Le Monde calls not to trust the blog Les Crises, authored by Olivier Berruyer, as there often is unreliable, unverified, one-sided information, while the author calls a “Russophile”.

Georgy Shepelev

Georgy Shepelev in 2011-2012 participated in the organization of protest actions in Paris, supported the opposition in Russia, but in 2012 entered into a “Coordination Council of Russian compatriots in France” headed by him. And this organization is closely connected with the Russian Embassy in France depends on the Russian foreign Ministry.

Lawyer Shepeleva in correspondence with Cecile the Vesi gave an example that considers defamation against his client: “the book says that Shepelev had betrayed his views, becoming Pro-Putin, opposed itself to the protection of human rights in Russia.”

In turn, Cecile the Vesi emphasizes that nowhere in the book does not skzano that Shepelev had betrayed their ideals. “I say that he first organized opposition rallies, and then headed structure, which depends on the Russian Embassy in France. You have two options: either he changed his views, like Maria Baronova, because they pay more and be less of a problem, or he didn’t change his views, and from the beginning was a provocateur, like father Gapon,” says the writer.

Djordje Kuzmanović

Djordje kuzmanović, Advisor on international issues of geopolitics, leader of the “Unconquered France” Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for the French presidency in the last election.

France believed that Mélenchon has supported the policy of Vladimir Putin. This assumption arose in 2014, when the French politician, who supported the Ukrainian Euromaidan and frustrated which replaced the Yanukovych government, said that “the Crimean ports are vital to the security of Russia and therefore, it is clear that the Russians are protecting themselves against adventurist coup authorities, which have influence neo-Nazis.”

9 may 2018 Mélenchon arrived in Moscow and was held on red square in the column “Immortal regiment”. The Russian press wrote that his Advisor on international Affairs of the George kuzmanović said that “relations with Russia should be the same, dependence on the United States – a big problem for France.”

As noted by writer Cecile the Vesi, in her book “there is no slander in respect of Palacio”. “And Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and kuzmanović in his public speeches, he supported the policy of Putin in Syria, Ukraine and Crimea. At some point, the Palacio is having problems in his party criticized him, he was a candidate for the European elections. He left Jean-Luc Mélenchon,” she writes.

“Mélenchon wrote a terrible text about Boris Nemtsov shortly after his murder. He wrote that it is impossible for the death of Nemtsov to blame Putin, and the Germans almost deserved to die because he was at the forefront of privatization in Russia. In the book, I wonder, not kuzmanović Lee wrote this terrible text? But the slander it?”, explains the Vesi.

“Kuzmanović supported Sergei Udaltsov, and when he was released from prison, came to Moscow to meet with him. He developed the idea that the “Left front” in France close to the “Left Front” in Russia. But of course, it’s a completely different story, and it’s not the same context”, – said the publicist.

Pierre Lambla

Pierre Lambla is the author of “Europe and Russia”, devoted to relations between Russia and Europe.

He, like blogger Olivier Berruyer, sometimes acts as an expert and commentator in the Russian state media, speaking about relations of Russia and France and on problems of Russian foreign policy.

Faith Nikolski

Among the plaintiffs wife of George Palacio Vera Nikolski that works in the National Assembly in Paris and is known for the fact that he wrote a thesis about Alexander Dugin – one of the main ideologists of neweurasia that with the coming to power of Vladimir Putin began to speak in favour of the current authorities.

This former Professor of the faculty of sociology of Moscow state University. Lomonosov is an active supporter of the introduction of Russian troops on the territory of Eastern regions of Ukraine. Commenting on the tragic events in Odessa of may 2014, the sociologist stated that, “came the even more terrible people” Sashko Bily (the victim coordinator “Right sector” Alexander Muzychko), and suggested that “kill, kill and kill” Ukrainians. “No more talk should not be, as a Professor I think so,” said Dugin.

According to Dugin, the Ukrainian government is a junta, and “Putin just trapped the sixth column and the network of American agents of influence, which he can not break through”.

According to Cecile the Vesi, Vera Nikolski sued after her husband only for the reason that “the book I write that Madame Nikolski, for example, the husband – a member of the party “Unconquered France”, which supports Putin, and Nikolsky wrote a dissertation about Alexander Dugin”. According to the Vesi, then there is no slander.

Helene Richard-Favre

Swiss writer Helene Richard-Favre-known Russians that in 2015 wrote an open letter to the Nobel prize-2015 in the field of literature Svetlana Aleksievich. Belarusian writer at the press-conference in Minsk after receiving the award said that the war in the Donbass, which killed more than 10 thousand people, was the result of foreign intervention. “This is occupation, it is – a foreign invasion,” said the author.

In response, criticizing its stance on Ukraine and Crimea, hélène Richard-Favre published an open letter in which, in particular, noted: “You, the one that made the basis of his work combating the lies, how can You claim that 86% of Russians rejoice in the deaths of people in Donbas? Madame, having said that, You are just lying, You are not just mistaken, You are despised reality.”