Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, the great intellectual of Russia “in the middle of the fog”.

Hélène Carrère d’Encausse may be surprised when recalling the grace with which Vladimir Putin often speaks: the permanent secretary of the French Academy may soon visit Ukraine for a series of conferences on French culture. The matter has not yet been concluded, but has been mentioned by the person concerned and the French Ambassador at Queue, Étienne de Ponsins – who, however, notes that things are still there. “unclear”. The historian, who, despite his 93 years, has good legs and good eyes, also plans to provide financial support from the French Academy to the city of Chernihiv, north of Kiev. One way, to hear it, in “Show our respect for Ukrainian culture”. And, for her, conducting a speech change against the Kremlin master from February 24, 2022, the day the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

Hélène Carrère d’Encassé looks just like the one we see on television as she gets into her office on Quai de Conti, the Parisian headquarters of the Institut de France. Sleek, impeccably dressed in a meadow green dress, she immediately tells you to take off your mask: “I vaccinate against everything!”, she declares with a charming smile. It is true that both exist “permanent” And “immortal”, a nickname given to academics, the woman maintains a very personal relationship with eternity: in short, her reign has no end. Having held several posts including MEP on the UDF-RPR list (1994-1999), this power woman can boast herself as an institution of sorts. Countless academics had him as a professor or whose theses he supervised. The point, moreover, is that it is approached among the people the worldFriends or detractors, many prefer not to talk about it.

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It all starts when she releases A broken empire (Flammarion)Surabishvili was born in Paris, in 1929, he was a first cousin of the current president of Georgia), and later became a sensation when he served as professor of history at the School of Science. In the middle of the Cold War, when Leonid Brezhnev headed the Soviet Union, Hélène Carrère d’Encas announced anything but an impending shake-up in power. He misunderstands the causes of these tensions, predicting that turmoil will arise from the republics of Central Asia, but he has the merit of highlighting the question of nationalities. The book quickly became a bestseller.

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