The Insider has presented new evidence that Auchan’s management knew exactly where the goods were being delivered and even helped to conceal the delivery to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Despite Auchan’s claim that it did not know the final recipient, employees and managers were observed placing “humanitarian aid” tags on packages of goods being sent to the military. Additionally, there were no items for women and children, but rather razors and cigarettes. The goods were supplied to ten private companies selected by Moscow management and signed for by an unknown person. The supply was made to St. Petersburg, but the city council did not formally own the companies.
How it matters?
Auchan’s management made statements in a press release that were found to be outright lies. The Insider found numerous documents, photographs, and data recorded by employees' testimonies that contradict the management’s claims. If Auchan was indeed complicit in disguising the delivery to the Russian Ministry of Defense, it would be a serious violation of international sanctions against Russia. The controversy surrounding Auchan’s involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has significant implications for the company’s reputation and business operations.
The open question now is how much the French management of Auchan knew about the activities of its Russian division. While Auchan admits that the March order was made by the St. Petersburg City Council, it remains unclear why it was issued to ten private companies that do not formally belong to the council. The involvement of Auchan’s Russian division in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has put the company in a precarious position. It remains to be seen whether the company will face sanctions or other consequences for its actions.