Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, the Russian division of the French chain of stores “Auchan” has been supplying goods to the Russian military, which are located in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. This is stated in an investigation conducted by The Insider with the participation of Le Monde and Bellingcat.Ads by Ad.Plus
The company positioned the mass supply of goods to the Russian occupiers as “humanitarian aid.” It included both products directly from hypermarket warehouses and goods that local volunteers collected for the army on the territory of stores. Moreover, in some regions, representatives of local authorities joined the organization of supply.
Also, the “Ashan” network did not limit itself to “humanitarian” products in the form of men’s socks, cigarettes and lighters – the local office actively contributed to the mobilization process and provided military commissars with information about its employees.
Investigators showed documents according to which, in March last year, the controller of Auchan – St. Petersburg, Natalia Seltser, sent a letter to her colleagues with a request to “collect humanitarian aid.”
A list of goods was attached to the letter, and even with a rich imagination it is difficult to imagine that these goods were supposed to go as “humanitarian cargo”. The list included men’s socks starting at size 40, cigarettes (which are not used as humanitarian aid at all), lighters, razors. And, of course, no products for pensioners, women and children. The number of products is 500-1000 pieces, which implies a significant number of recipients. This batch of “humanitarian aid” was estimated at approximately 2 million rubles.
The investigators contacted the managers of the companies to which the specified humanitarian aid was issued, and some of them immediately admitted that “the aid was delivered to the Russian military, but they refused to provide details.”
By the way, in this story, not only Auchan was contaminated, but also the Leroy Merlin network, which belongs to the same holding and, apparently, adheres to the same well-known principle of “Out of politics.” Judging by the photos shown by the investigators, large consignments of goods were delivered to the temporarily occupied territories in branded “Leroy Merlin” packaging.
Of course, the French office of Auchan denied helping the occupiers, but now the company received not only questions from journalists, but also a request from the Ukrainian office of Auchan, whose representatives are outraged by such support for the aggressor country.
In March 2022, Aushan was included in the list of companies that refused to leave the Russian market, despite the call of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Then the representatives of the French office gave some excuses that they do not want to abandon their employees and their families and consider it a vital necessity to bake fresh bread for people every day.