Shady Horses of Russian Propaganda, Nicolas Sarkozy. Promoting negotiations with the Kremlin and “neutrality” of Ukraine

The project Shady Horses delves into investigating Russian propaganda dissemination within Western countries through prominent individuals, often referred to as “talking heads.” By analyzing the influence and messaging of these figures, the project seeks to shed light on individuals, usually top politicians and high-ranking experts, who stay behind disseminating Russian propaganda in different countries to highlight how they falsify public opinion in favor of Russia. 

During his presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy had a rather mixed relationship with Russia. He was active in diplomatic efforts, mediating the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, advocating for stronger economic ties between the two countries. He was scrutinized for occasionally echoing Moscow’s viewpoints and having close ties to Vladimir Putin. His approach received criticism for being too accommodating, particularly in terms of human rights and democratic values. 

So who is this shady horse of Russian propaganda?

Who are they? Former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy 

Where are they from? France

Political affiliation? Leader of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement.

​​What have they been saying?

Ukraine is a bridge between Europe and Russia. We must push it to have excellent relations with Europe and with Russia.

We cannot solve the Syrian drama without Russia. The more disagreements we have with Vladimir Putin, the more dialogue is needed.

I have always been a friend of Vladimir Putin because he’s the kind of person you can talk with, even despite all the differences.

He listens carefully and is extremely polite, approachable, sympathetic, and keen to smile. He is extremely loyal to his friends and beliefs, but he is willing to change his mind if he is convinced of something. (Sarkozy about Putin – HWAG).

(To Russians) 

“You <…> have no idea how much your prestige and image have changed in the international arena. Russia has once again regained its power; Russia understands its place in the international arena and its destiny.”

“I regret that the European Union appears to be in servitude to the Americans. Countries keep their addresses the same whether we like it or not. Europe and Russia are destined to maintain peaceful and good-neighbourly relations.”

We are witnessing a “hot” conflict on the threshold of Europe. And Europeans only hear about the billions of euros spent on weapons purchases. More weapons, more deaths, more war! We are at the mercy of miscalculation, exaltation, irritation. We are dancing on the edge of the volcano.

“When it comes to the territory of Crimea, which was Russian until 1954 and where the majority of the population still considers themselves Russians, I think that going back is an illusion.

“It is necessary to understand what Ukraine’s calling is. To become part of the EU? I don’t think so. Not only because it is not ready and does not meet the required entry criteria, but also because it must remain a neutral state.” 

“Negotiations are needed, and the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO will aggravate the situation. The solution is in negotiations.”