For Mediapart, Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine is About Putin’s Imperial Ambitions

And Why It Is a Wrong Analysis

Ukraine On Fire

Mediapart, a left-leaning French media reputable for its investigative journalism was founded in 2008 by Edwy Plenel, François Bonnet, Laurent Mauduit, Marie-Hélène Smiéjan and several others. It is a news website with paywall to read its online content. So far to date, it has more than 220,000 paying subscribers.

On the subject of the Ukraine War, Mediapart which claims to be independent left-wing, and anti-colonialism, apparently is not so anti-war and not anti-imperialism as long as it is the Western or French Imperialism. Mediapart spreads the same propaganda as other French mainstream media while omitting facts and historical truth. 

According to Mediapart based on its several articles on the Ukraine – Russia conflict, the invasion of Ukraine is caused by Putin’s imperial ambitions, that Putin would like to bring back Russia to its grandiose status of the USSR. 

According to Edwy Plenel, one of the founders of Mediapart and former editor in chief of Le Monde, in an article that was published on 2 March 2022 titled “Contre l’impérialisme russe, pour un sursaut internationaliste” (Against Russian Imperialism, for an internationalist leap), he wrote that “Far from the propagandist quibbles about an alleged threat from NATO, it was against this democratic outburst that Russia unleashed a war cycle in the heart of the European continent, of which the invasion of Ukraine is today the culmination.”

"Loin des arguties propagandistes sur une prétendue menace de l’OTAN, c’est bien contre ce sursaut démocratique que la Russie déclencha un cycle guerrier au cœur du continent européen, dont l’invasion de l’Ukraine est aujourd’hui l’aboutissement." 

He even went so far as to add “So that the Ukrainian people of today and the Russian people of tomorrow, and other people from Central and Eastern Europe can still stand up to say what they think and freely choose their destiny, there is no other urgency than to support, defend, and help, including militarily (weapons and arms) to those who resist the aggression of this new Russian imperialism.”

"Pour que le peuple ukrainien aujourd’hui, le peuple russe demain, les autres peuples d’Europe centrale et orientale, puissent encore se lever pour dire ce qu’ils pensent et choisir librement leur destin, il n’est d’autre urgence que de soutenir, défendre et aider, y compris militairement, celles et ceux qui résistent à l’agression de ce nouvel impérialisme russe."

There is a huge difference between helping the Ukrainian refugees and giving arms to Ukraine to prolong the war, especially when the French government had committed and stated openly that they want to de-escalate the war. Here is another hypocrisy of the French leader and the European leaders who said that they want to stop the war but instead keep supplying arms worth billions of euros to Ukraine. 

With all the articles that Mediapart has published on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, it can not be concluded that Mediapart is a neutral non-biased media, and it definitely can’t be said left-wing, anti-war, and anti-imperialism. It is against the supposed enemies’ “imperialism” but not the Western Imperialism Hegemony. 

Mediapart’s article by Francois Bougon “Before Launching Grand Invasion, Putin Imposed His Neo-Imperial Vision”

To argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is merely Putin’s imperial ambitions to bring Russia to once its glorious empire of the USSR is not only very simplistic but also ignorant, irresponsible, and unprofessional as a news media.

Edwy Plenel and his journalists’ simplistic view of the Russia-Ukraine conflict while failing to take a look at several historical facts that led to the war in Ukraine is professional incompetence, if not negligence at best. 

Mediapart and most media news outlets conveniently failed to mention these historical facts that led to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine:

  1. The 1991 Agreement between the US, UK, France, Germany, and Russia that assured Russia that NATO wouldn’t expand eastward after the Fall of the Berlin War. Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner.

Roland Dumas, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs was a witness and involved in the negotiation of this agreement. He stated in this interview video below that US, UK, France, and Germany were against NATO’s expansion.

2) NATO has added 14 member states east of Germany since the end of the First Cold War, thus breaking its promise made to Russia in the 1991 Agreement. 

NATO Expansion Eastward Since the 1991 Agreement that NATO would not expand an inch eastward.

In 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO.

In 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined as well.

In 2009, Albania and Croatia joined.

In 2017, Montenegro joined.

In 2020, North Macedonia joined.

NATO has also discussed the possibility of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine joining in the future. Western militaries, including those of the United Kingdom and France, were using Estonia to run NATO military exercises just 100 kilometers from Russia’s border in late 2021 and early 2022, at the peak of the crisis in Ukraine.

NATO has militarily encircled Russia more and more by the year.

3) The 2014 US-Backed Coup of the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Former President Viktor Yanukovych who put the interests of his country and its citizens first was deemed too independent for Washington. So the U.S.A sponsored a coup d’etat to overthrow Yanukovych and installed a pro-Western and pro-NATO puppet regime right on Russia’s border. 

Below is a leaked phone call between Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, plotting who should govern Ukraine after the US-backed coup. 

Victoria Nuland, Asst. Sec. of State for Europe, phone call to US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in a phone call leaked to the news media on 4 February 2014, where she said “F*ck the EU.”

4) The 2015 Minsk Agreement. 

In 2015, brokered by the Germans and French, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France met in Minsk and signed an interim peace deal. Ukraine agreed to offer autonomy to Donbas, now the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

February 11, 2015. From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pose for a group photo at Independence Palace in Minsk after restricted attendance peace talks on Ukraine held by the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders.(RIA Novosti / Viktor Tolochko) © RIA Novosti

5) The Neo-Nazis have been killing Ukrainian Russian-speaking civilians since 2014 and The West supports them.

The Ukrainian far-right extremists and Neo-Nazis have been the key player behind the 2014 US-sponsored coup and since then, they have infiltrated the Ukrainian government, the police, and the military. From 2014 to 2019, during the five years of civil war in Donbass, these fascists were responsible for the killing of more than 13,000 and getting more than 28,000 wounded

Political scientist and defence analyst for US government-funded RAND Corporation wrote an article in Foreign Policy acknowledging that “the vast majority of rebel forces consist of locals—not soldiers of the regular Russian military.” These are not Russian soldiers, these are Russian-speaking Ukrainians being killed by their own government.

The founder of the independent news website Multipolarista and an excellent journalist Benjamin Norton revealed how NATO, US, UK, France, Canada, Germany, and Poland are arming and training the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

From those five undeniable historical facts, the news media are not only failed to inform people but they have become complicit in pushing false narrative and spreading propaganda to justify NATO’s proxy war against Russia. 

Edwy Plenel’s article calls out to arm Ukraine, it is backing France’s decision to supply weapons and train the far-right military in Ukraine, resulting in a prolonged war. Mediapart has become the propaganda arm of the French State and its oligarchs. It fails in its role and responsibility as a factual impartial media that informs the public with a reliable trustworthy source of information.

Mediapart is a spin-off of Le Monde, the French equivalent of The New York Times, as Edwy Plenel was its former editor in chief and majority of Mediapart’s journalists used to work for Le Monde. Le Monde is owned by billionaire Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse, and Daniel Kretinsky. 

When Edwy Plenel and other founders set up Mediapart, they received some funding from Xavier Niel, Maurice Levy (Chairman Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest advertising and communications group) and other 86 people whose identities are never publicly disclosed and they are all part of La société des Amis de Médiapart (Friends of Mediapart company).

Knowing where its funding coming from, it is suffice to conclude that Mediapart is identical to other mainstream media, where they are owned or funded by rich oligarchs. Hence Mediapart can’t claim itself as independent. It is an instrumentalized news media with a political-economical agenda of its owners.

During the French Presidential Election in 2017 and the recent 2022 Election, Mediapart was seen as biased by the many criticisms it received for its partial articles that favoured Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen. 

From personal experience, my comments on Mediapart’s article titled “Before Launching Grand Invasion, Putin Imposed His Neo-Imperial Vision” written by Francois Bougon, also ex Le Monde, were censored and deleted from its comment platform saying that I have violated their rules, for pointing out that the article omits some facts (expansion of NATO, Minsk Agreement) and for saying that sadly there are no independent media in France including Mediapart. Overall, I find that Mediapart is neither professional nor ethical in its business dealing and it is no different from other news outlets, hence I am stopping my subscription as of today. 

The Ukraine War is the result of a series of The West’s broken promises to the East: the 1991 Agreement for NATO not to expand eastward and the Minsk Accord. Throughout history war break out because of agreement between countries that is not respected in games of power, as “history doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes”, says Mark Twain.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a war foretold as many geopolitics experts from University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, NYU Professor Stephen Cohen, diplomat George Kennan, former CIA director Bill Burns, former US Secretary of Defence Bob Gates, Henry Kissinger, to many others have warned us on the consequences of NATO expansion that could be the most tragic strategic blunder of American foreign policy post-Cold War era.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

Stephen Cohen on Russia – Ukraine Crisis: “We are Well Into a Cold War”

John Mearsheimer: Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault?

Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin

Oliver Stone’s Documentary “Ukraine on Fire”

Youtube deletes Oliver Stone’s documentary, “Ukraine on Fire”, and then restores it, albeit as flagged, following a severe public backlash. Here is the link to watch it on Odysee and the link to watch it on Rumble.

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