Florian Philippot: pro-Russian populist or “Patriot” of France

Today, 4 February, the notoriously former MEP Florian Philippot has commented on calls for Russian athletes to be banned from the 2024 Olympics.

“Now everyone is discussing whether or not Russia should be allowed to enter the Olympics and other international events. In 2004, however, no one even thought of excluding the US team from the Athens Olympics. At the time, their country illegally invaded Iraq, which resulted in a huge number of casualties”

IOC is considering admitting Russia to the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag, but many countries have already spoken out against such a decision.

“Le Patriote de France”

Florian Philippot became a political activist when he was a student and had known for his destructive actions – in 2002 he denounced the demonstrations against Jean-Marie Le Pen between the two rounds of presidential elections and in 2005 he took part in the campaign against the adoption of the EU Constitution.

In 2012 he was defeated in the 2012 National Assembly elections in the 6th constituency of Moselle.

In 2014 he was elected to the European Parliament in the Eastern constituency and was also elected to the Forbach municipal council, but in January 2016 he withdrew from the Forbach municipal council after missing more than half of the meetings.

Marine Le Pen with Florian Philippot in Paris.

After refusing to leave the think tank he founded, Les Patriotes, due to the FN’s results in the 2017 presidential and legislative elections and disagreements over his position on the euro with other party members, he announced his withdrawal from the FN on 21 September 2017.

In the 2019 European Parliament elections in France, his party gains 0.6% of the vote and Philippot loses his seat in the European Parliament.

He tried to run for the French presidential election in 2022, but failed, receiving only 1 sponsorship out of the 500 valid sponsorships required to be placed on the ballot.

Pro-Russian populist

The Russian state media published a tweet from French politician Florian Philippot, presenting it as the opinion of all French citizens and writing that

“Zelensky’s master war plan was exposed in France.”

On 30 October 2022, he accused NATO of sabotaging Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, claiming to have information that Russia was not to blame. The Moscow media often quotes Florian Philippot to illustrate a series of false narratives about the nature of the war in Ukraine.

“Sweden has the results of the investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, but refuses to make them public. So we know it wasn’t Russia, and we also know it was organised by a NATO member (or members)! The truth will soon be revealed!”

On 27 December 2022, he claimed that the US Congress did not support Zelensky because only 82 out of 213 Republicans were in the room when the Ukrainian leader spoke. The politician was repeatedly quoted by Russian government media.

Florian Philippot claims that Zelensky is an aggressor who wants to start a world nuclear war, without mentioning Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine on 24 February 2022 or the war crimes committed by Russia on the territory of a foreign country. Ukraine, defending itself against Russian invasion, is portrayed as the aggressor, and Kyiv’s legitimate requests for weapons support are portrayed as an effort to launch a world nuclear war.

“2022 will be the year when it was fashionable to unconditionally support a regime that chants Nazi and is one of the most corrupt in Europe!”
Florian Philippot (Mathieu Cugnot / AP)

Such narratives, which have appeared before, aim to instil fear in Western societies and block arms supplies to Kyiv, while the nuclear threat becomes an element of this hybrid war.

Moscow and politicians loyal to Russia in the EU are trying to convince the international community that the war in Ukraine will last long because of arms deliveries to Kyiv, otherwise it will end very quickly, but on Russia’s terms.

Thus, Russian propaganda, referring to pro-Kremlin politicians, tries to make a narrative reversal: the cause is replaced by the result, the victim is portrayed as the aggressor and the invader as the party defending against the attack.

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