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Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

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ACROSS AFRICA

Mali's basketball star: NBA top player Cheick Diallo makes hometown proud

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BUSINESS DAILY

Trump threatens huge new tariffs on China

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EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia lose first World Cup match against England

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THE DEBATE

Colombia's next president: Duque defeats left-wing Petro in run-off

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Aquarius, refugees and 'Europe's soul'

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ENCORE!

Music show: Chiara Civello, Jay-Z and Beyoncé & Solidays festival

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FOCUS

How corruption has damaged Armenia's environment

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THE INTERVIEW

'Changing FARC peace deal would be a huge historical error for Colombia'

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FOCUS

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2018-03-01

Exclusive: Russian mercenaries in Syria, Putin's secret army

On February 7, in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, the US army bombed fighters who were advancing towards oil installations held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed rebel coalition. Shortly afterwards, the Pentagon said these fighters could be "Russian mercenaries". Moscow is trying to cover up the real death toll from this incident and the role of the private military contractor Wagner, which sends mercenaries to Syria.

Our Russia correspondent Elena Volochine travelled to the Svedlorsk region, in Siberia, where she met families in mourning.

She also investigated paramilitary organisations in Ekaterinburg. One of its leaders, speaking on condition of anonymity, made some surprising revelations. This is her exclusive report.

[Editor's note: We apologise for the poor sound quality of the interview after this report.]

By Elena VOLOCHINE , Thomas LOWE

Archives

2018-06-18 Europe

How corruption has damaged Armenia's environment

It's now more than a month since anti-government demonstrations in Armenia forced the government of Serzh Sargsyan to resign. At the heart of the protest movement was anger over...

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2018-06-15 Middle East

Residents of southern Lebanon live in fear of another war

Last month, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group announced that a new chapter in Syria's civil war had begun. This came after missiles were fired from Syrian soil into the...

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2018-06-14 Asia-pacific

Video: Men forced into marriage in northern India

Forced marriages are on the rise in India. In most cases, it's women who are kidnapped and forced into marrying a man they do not know. But in the northern state of Bihar, one of...

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2018-06-13 Europe

Russia gets set to host World Cup as costs soar

All eyes will be on Russia as the World Cup kicks off on Thursday. The country has spent almost €9 billion on the event. Of the 12 stadiums, nine have been built from scratch. In...

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2018-06-12 Europe

The Italians speaking out against the mafia in Sicily

Racketeering, extortion, so-called protection money: Italy's economy, and its southern regions in particular, are hit hard by organised crime. On the island of Sicily, the local...

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