The problematic distributions of Auchan in Russia

The problematic distributions of Auchan in Russia

In Russia, the supermarket chain Auchan only feeds not just the civilian population, despite what the French group publicly claims. “Abandoning our employees, their families and our customers is not the decision we made,” the brand said on March 27, 2022, to justify maintaining its operations in Russia since February’s invasion of Ukraine , unlike the vast majority of western companies.

In the same press release, issued days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a speech urging French companies to pull out of the Russian market, Auchan claims to cover “basic food needs.” According to documents provided to NGO Bellingcat, independent Russian media The Insider and Le Monde, the Mulliez family’s retail business, the eighth French fortune according to Challenges, it appears to be involved in the Russian war effort.

On March 15, 2022, an email was sent by Natalya Z., management controller for Auchan, to about twenty employees at several stores in Saint Petersburg, western Russia, with the aim of “raising funds for humanitarian aid,” the employee wrote . A list is in Excel spreadsheet form: thousands of cigarettes, woolen socks size 12 or 14, gas stove canisters, canned pork stew, axes and nails, all from the shield’s stockpile. The shipment, worth 2 million rubles (about 25,000 euros), must be picked up at five points of sale and transported to a sixth store near the historic center of the city. “Everything was provided free of charge by Auchan,” says an employee involved in the operation, who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons.

A week later, two trucks pick up these boxes labeled “Humanitarian Aid.” Alekseï R., a former employee of the sign turned whistleblower and now in exile, is present at the whole crime scene. He asks Natalya Z., one of his managers, about the destination of the cargo. She was surprised by her question, the bearded woman in her mid-thirties reports in the video today, wearing a fleece jacket with the brand’s logo and a hat. He insists. “She replied that these boxes were for the ‘special operation’,” he specifies. Understanding of the Russian armed forces deployed at the front, as confirmed by two local logistics companies.

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