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Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

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#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

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FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

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REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

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#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

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ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

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PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

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BUSINESS DAILY

UK car industry says draft Brexit deal is 'positive step'

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IN THE PRESS

'Resignations, a coup and a day of hostility. But May fights on'

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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

2018-11-16 Focus

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

As Angela Merkel visits the eastern German city of Chemnitz, the scene of far-right unrest this summer, we look at how extreme-right ideas are continuing to make inroads across...

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2018-05-17 Focus

Video: Homophobic attacks on the rise in France

Last month, 30-year-old Romain was leaving a Normandy nightclub when he was bundled into a car and attacked by a gang, just because he's gay. Sadly his story is far from unique....

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2018-11-14 Focus

Syria's Armenian minority building new life in Yerevan

In the past few years, some 15 to 20,000 Syrians have found refuge in Armenia, the overwhelming majority of them of Armenian origin. Fleeing persecution of ethnic minorities...

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2018-11-13 Focus

Saudi Arabia's increasing influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina - a multicultural Muslim-majority country - is an increasingly popular destination among tourists from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Companies are...

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2018-11-12 Focus

South Sudan's latest attempt at fragile peace

In South Sudan, a five-year bloody civil war could be coming to an end. Two months ago, the belligerents signed a new peace deal and in late October, rebel leader Riek Machar...

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