I never thought that the Russians would invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022. I was betting it was a bluff of Comrade Putin trying to obtain concessions by threat.
I was wrong. The augurs were right: these eight years spent testing themselves in the trenches on both sides were finally going to materialize in a real good old-fashion war.
The Russians were winning! The people’s army had triumphed over many formidable enemies! The tanks would be in Kyiv in no time, cheered like liberators! President Zelynski would barely have time to flee to America…
That’s not what happened…
In March, this war resembled a gigantic “Atelier” for newcomers to the profession and a meeting place for former stars of photojournalism, still valiant, eager to shine again in the firmament of information.
The media war was smoothly conducted by the unofficial services of the American army. They have long since learned the lessons of freedom of the press in Vietnam, which may have cost them a victory. In Kyiv, more than a thousand journalists were expected!
I called Nico, my “passport” to hell on the Russian side. He lives in Berlin now. Moscow no problem, Donestk no problem, Mariupol no problem! The guy Denis, a press officer met in 2017 (a previous trip to cover the separatists) became Minister of Information of the separatist republic. I had offered him my 6 kg “hefty book”, Champs de bataille. He remembered us and would welcome us with pleasure and gratitude to visit the places of the reconquest of the Russian Empire. I settled the financial details with a French magazine, “Marianne”, which accepted the challenge. I sold them “The Taking of Mariupol”. I know that I have no interest in screwing up.
The sequel is in this 168-page book “The Forces of Evil” which recounts the capture of Mariupol along the Russian forces during the first weeks of April 2022.
Order at: www.archivesyanmorvan.com
archivesyanmorvan Hors-Série 4
Ukraine 2017-2022 Les Forces du Mal
Text in French and English
Photos: Donetsk and Luhansk in 2017, Mariupol and Azov Headquarters in 2022. Russian side.