De Gaulle's grandson blames United States for Ukraine war
Pierre de Gaulle, the grandson of France's wartime leader and former president, has blamed the US for the war in Ukraine - embarrassing the family, as he said it was his duty to speak out "as heir to the general".
Seemingly throwing his weight behind Vladimir Putin, the 59-year-old business consultant painted Russia as a victim in an interview with Le Parisien.
"The French are paying a heavy price for a war provoked by the United States to turn Europe into a vassal," he told the newspaper.
"Public opinion in France is beginning to understand what the evil game of the Americans is today. By using lies... within Nato, the United States has managed to use the Ukrainian crisis to destabilise Europe."
His grandfather, Charles de Gaulle, nurtured a distrust of the US and withdrew France from Nato's integrated military command structure in 1966.
It is not the first time that Pierre has voiced pro-Russian opinions. In December 2021, he called for France to maintain close ties with Russia, despite growing tension between Moscow and the West.
He was quoted by Russian state media as saying that "strong French-Russian friendship... exists in the soul and has long permeated the French mentality".
He added: "Putin is a great head of state and a great leader for his country. I'd like it if we could move on despite the current crisis."
Justifying his latest remarks, Mr de Gaulle said it was his "duty to restore the truth as heir to the general".
But other members of the family distanced themselves from his remarks, with his older brother Yves saying they did not reflect the views of their distinguished grandfather.
Paris has taken a slightly more nuanced view of the Ukraine-Russia conflict - while condemning the invasion as illegal and barbarous, President Emmanuel Macron has called for a dialogue with Moscow.