Un regard russe sur la France : Facing the reality. Subjective reaction on last tragic events

Ce texte a été écrit par un de mes amis russes, qui se trouve être le premier étudiant, encore “soviétique” (nous étions en 1991) à avoir été admis dans le programme des “bourses Diderot” pour venir étudier à Paris. Il passa un an dans mon centre de recherches et nous nous sommes liés d’amitié, une amitié qui ne s’est pas démenti. Comme de nombreux russes francophiles et francophones (il a appris notre langue en effectuant des doublages des films policiers français…), il a été profondément choqué par ce qui est survenu à Paris la semaine dernière. Il a cherché dans ce texte à aller plus loin que l’émotion et a cherche à analyser ces tragiques événements et à en tirer les leçons. Le texte qu’il m’a envoyé m’a semblé suffisamment intéressant pour que je le publie avant d’y ajouter un commentaire. On peut ne pas être d’accord, sur certains points de ce texte. Mais, il ouvre un débat important et pose certaines très justes questions. Surtout, il nous permet de comprendre comment des russes voient notre situation. Ce décentrage par rapport au débat hexagonal me semble aussi très important. Il vous prie d’avance de l’excuser  de l’avoir écrit en anglais, qui est la langue qu’il utilise professionnellement, et qu’il maîtrise, désormais, mieux que le français (hélas, hélas, hélas….).


Deputy chairman of Russian Organization of Solidarity and Cooperation of Peoples of Asia and Africa.

Facing the reality:

Subjective reaction on last tragic events.


First of all I would consider recent extremist attacks in France.  I feel deeply sorry for loss of human lives, police officers and civilians. But we have to be objective in analysis of causes and consequences.

This event reflects an evolution (and a degradation) of the global situation and not only concerns France, but whole EU and of course Russia – EU relations (even, if the consequences for French political situation will be very important).

Actual Media version of events – to present this attack, as action of isolated group of radicalized individuals – is totally misleading.

We face complex, deep entrenched institutional extremist organization, operating and communicating from number of geographical locations, connected in one network with long term planning and capacity to prepare multistep actions with evaluated media effects. Organization has stable financing, command chain and training facilities. Organization has highly religiously motivated fighters (with practically unlimited supply of new recruits of different ethnics). This attack could just be the first action (“practical exercise” to some extent – to see forms and dynamics of West reactions), and other actions could follow (and more dangerous in nature – in this attack attackers did not use explosives (self-made with multiple projectile elements or grenades – put under dead bodies, chain mining of attack places, suicide belts etc..) – that is “normal” practice in war zones.

This targeted action – is exterritorial public punishment (according to Sharia for defense of Islamic values) – attack against defamation of Prophet and Islam, can be followed by massive terrorist actions against civil population and main cultural/transport assets. This attack has been planned for long time and reflects change (evolution) of strategy of extremist network toward EU countries (they crossed Rubicon).

Before, the EU has been considered as a safe haven for extremist networks, place of recruiting, place for rehabilitation of fighters and source of financing. The EU main concern would have to be border control but this is a ship with thousand holes (Zero coordination of internal security policies between EU members, which looks very busy responding to phantom Russian threat).

The EU is building paper walls against an enemy coming from within. Today’s extremists are not barbarian hordes coming to civilized Europe, but products of the same civilized Europe – they are forgotten children of actual European civilization.

Now – extremists decided to pass to active operation stage – trying to influence public opinion (like in the case of Spain – when after terrorist attack on train station Spain did withdraw from Afghanistan). There is a second objective: to increase recruiting to “war” zones by using demonstration effects of “martyr” actions with large media impact (that greatly enhanced by Western media modus operandi). This helps to consolidate position of “moral leadership” in internal struggle for dominance among extremists groups and their spiritual leaders. Third – because of prognosis of increased tensions (conflicts) between communities – number of potential candidates to joint extremists will also increase – more anti-Muslim actions in public space (like publishing of Prophet caricatures) – more young radicals to joint extremists.

Unfortunately there are small chances that EU countries will be able to adequately react on this renewed threat. Traditional politics have and will prevail (like discussion, if FN shall join demonstrations of national unity), bureaucracies will have their usual inertias – budgets are reduced and already allocated, and liberal (libertine) media will not let to adopt adequate laws and policies against extremist networks – rights without responsibilities.

Defensive policies against such complex extremist phenomenon – operation mode by the ways as usual, will not work. In order to defend citizen security EU countries have to become offensive – internally and externally. NATO will not help in this case, because threats are asymmetric by nature (sale of used British armored vehicles to Estonia don’t provide much of practical assistance in this situation).

In order to proper address present and actual threat authorities have to pay attention to uncontrolled urban zones (zones sensible – out of police/authorities control) in important cities starting with Paris, destroy supply chains of drugs, arms, prostitution, various form of human trafficking, money laundering and counterfeit trade/production, clandestine immigration (that after employed in grey and black economy – in war zones exist standard set of paid services how to reach and be established in EU). Only production of opium in Afghanistan grew 40 times during 13 years of US lead intervention – major consumer market is Europe, all networks are interrelated – grow of one (drugs) means similar grow in others.

Maybe EU States and France in particular shall stop finance through social welfare/benefits people who are not considering themselves neither behaving as citizens and allocate those funds to strengthen police, intelligence services and army (which is fighting real wars on multiple fronts)? Maybe its necessary to replace regime of free movement with intelligent controls answering to questions – who and why coming to national territory? Maybe it’s necessary to engage moderate Muslims (who sometimes are better – more active and engaged citizens) and representatives of other communities in fabrics of society and give them place in national politics (if you accept them as citizen by giving passports – give them chance to be citizens exercising power of society)?

War zones have to be called as they are and where they are with clear identification of local politicians supporting and sponsoring extremists (like wealthy Qatari and Kuwaiti families) – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, South Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Mali – Muslim Crescent going from East – borders with China to West till Mauritania.

Authorities have to identify and destroy ethnic organized criminal groups in national territories – Turkish, Albans, Chechens, Romanians. The role of Qatar and Saudi foundations financing in Muslim quarters of European cities shall be addressed. Awkward questions shall be asked regarding role of Gulf money in French politics/personalities – from UMP to Socialists (former duty of Renseignements  Generaux  – service that has been destroyed through fusion with DST to form the DGRI). New legislation shall be adopted – putting extremists in jail for life term with isolation on one of Antarctic islands France possess in prison of high security (they have too hot blood – they can get cooler there…). Families shall be brought to responsibility of extremist’s behavior (in 80% cases families know about extremist plans) – citizen rights shall be stripped from them and property shall be expropriated (this shall lead to earlier identification of individuals representing extremist risks).

Difficult quarters – shall be cleaned by police/military operations with liquidation of local caid’s system, of caches of drugs, arms, illegal goods, with identification of illegal immigrants present on national territory and their isolation and after deportation. Arrested individuals shall be putted in filtration camps for questioning – in order to search for links/connections inside networks (outside of traditional prison system – which serve best place for indoctrination and recruiting).

In the case Authorities will not react – population will do on own way (with more blood on the streets – lack of order replaced by chaos) – paving the rout for ultranationalist political movements (like Pegida in Germany – there ultra-nationalists ally with soccer clubs tiffosies). Today in France 53% of population has fear for own security – after recent attack this number will jump to new high. Today around 9% of French population is Muslims if we accept figures given by official Islamic organizations – if they will be attacked on the streets, they will certainly respond (civil war option is not so far away – if you don’t want to see reality, this don’t means that reality does not exist).

But all actions in internal politics will not resolve the problem without coordinated actions on international arena. Issue of war zones shall be addressed with restoration of functional states there – with acceptance of role of regional players (countries – like Iran in Middle East). Group of local leaders shall be selected and supported by coordinated efforts of Security Council members with at first stage joint military operation in the areas (like zone of IS, Libya or Boko Haram area) there “cleaning” effort is necessary before restoration of normal government (in all this operations long term presence of foreign forces has to be out of question – this means no US like half out half in options practiced today in Iraq and Afghanistan) – in the same time new countries government have to have free hands to deal with extremists in efficient manner.

Cooperation between EU and Russia in security shall be increased – Russia has large actualized data base on extremists especially in Middle East+ that will have value in identification of networks leading to France (EU). Russia is facing the same threat, coming from the same origins – that is more natural than alliance between Europe and Russia in this fight?

If we presume that recent attack it’s just a starter of chain of similar events with long lasting consequences – this will means:

Nationalistic and anti-EU (Brussels type) political parties will increase their role in EU countries politics (beginning with FN in France already biggest political party), together with systemic EU crisis – combination of fundamentals of economic crisis and potential exist of Greece (with 240 billion USD state debt to foreign creditors that will create hole in IMF/EU budget and Greece is 4 times smaller than Ukraine) – will put Ukrainian crisis (increasingly chaotic and costly) aside in priorities of European politics.

In this scenario (despite US pressure and Ukraine declaration of need for reinforced alliance of Ukrainian Wall (Fortress) against Russian aggression based on closer military defense cooperation between Poland, Baltic State and Ukraine (under US umbrella) – stretching from Baltics to Black Sea) European countries will try to meddle tensions with Russia accepting status quo and emphasizing de-escalation of crisis. Restoration of dialog could lead to closer cooperation in security/defense fields between Russia and EU states – there France has biggest role to play, need for that has been just heavily underlined by recent tragic events.

Unfortunately declarations of solidarity with victims of Charlie killing in West concern only minds and feelings of just part of population of Earth – one billion of Muslims have other worries and preoccupations. In order to reach them – West have to try better understand them – in this dialog Russia can help.

In the past history of Europe – Alaric (leader of Goths) when coming to walls of Rome has been told by Consul of City that there are more Romans in the city that soldiers in his army – Alaric answered – more there are the grass, easier to cut.

This happed exactly because imperial Rome lost patriotic citizens ideology – when everyone been defender of Homeland, when courage and devotion of men and women been better protection than city walls. 

Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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