Hubert Fayard, head of an organization that purports to be the Official Embassy of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in France, has been arrested on suspicion of pimping, according to reports in the Russian media and by the French news outlet Le Monde.
Fayard was arrested in Marseille on 2 April, charged on 4 April, and is now being held in custody in Aix-Luynes.
No official details about Fayard’s illicit activity have been released, although one source in legal system mentioned “girls from the East who work for him”.
In 2007, Fayard founded a dating agency called “Love of Russia”, which was registered at the same address as the DPR “embassy”.
The Russian news outlet RIA Novosti also published an article about Fayard’s arrest, with a different theory. Fayard was supposedly in a “difficult financial situation”. He met with a certain Ukrainian lady, who offered to lend him money. The following day, police arrived at his house, confiscated the money and arrested him.
France is the fifth European country where the Russia-controlled DPR militants have tried to open “embassies”. They tried previously in Greece, Finland and Italy, and also in the Czech city of Ostrava, where a district court ordered that the “embassy” be closed.
France is part of the Normandy Format and is the guarantor of the signing of the Minsk Agreements.
The French Foreign Ministry has already declared that it does not recognize the so-called Official Embassy of the DPR and that its activity is illegal. There have been several court cases to have the organization shut down, although none have been successful yet.