A joint investigation by The Insider and Le Monde has revealed that the Russian subsidiary of French supermarket chain Auchan is supplying goods to the Russian army. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced his intention to discuss the issue with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna following the release of the publication earlier today.
“Last year, I urged the world to boycott Auchan for failing to withdraw from Russia and stop funding war crimes. However, the reality seems to be far worse: Auchan has evolved into a full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression. I intend to discuss this with my French counterpart,” Kuleba tweeted.
A joint investigation by The Insider and Le Monde revealed that the Russian subsidiary of French multinational supermarket chain Auchan had been supplying goods to the Russian military in the occupied regions of Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. Supplies to the military were positioned as “humanitarian aid” and consisted of both goods from Auchan warehouses and supplies collected by volunteers at Auchan stores in different parts of the country. In some regions, deliveries were organized in direct cooperation with local authorities. In addition to supplying goods, Auchan helped Russia’s military registration and enlistment offices to draw in recruits from among its employees for the mobilization effort.
According to international law, only assistance to civilians is considered humanitarian aid during international conflicts. Support for one of the warring parties can lead to Auchan being sanctioned and trigger the departure of the company from the Russian market (Auchan's holdings in Russia include 230 stores, accounting for 10% of its turnover, or close to €3.2 billion a year).