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France planned to send 2,000 troops to Ukraine – Russian intel

Paris may still have plans to covertly send a contingent to fight for Kiev, an agent has claimed

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has declassified a report by an operative who stated in March that France was preparing to send a contingent of about 2,000 soldiers to fight in Ukraine. 

The declassified report was published in the latest issue of the SVR’s ‘Scout’ magazine. In it, an operative using the pseudonym Felix claimed that the French army was “concerned about the increased number of Frenchmen killed in the Ukrainian theater of military operation,” particularly after Russian forces destroyed a temporary deployment center for foreigners near Kharkov in January.  

That strike alone killed “dozens of French citizens,” the French army reportedly estimated, noting that since then, similar attacks have “become the norm in the Ukraine conflict.” The French Defense Ministry has privately acknowledged that it has not seen such losses since the war in Algeria in the second half of the 20th century, according to Felix’s cipher telegram. 

At the same time, the SVR operative reported that the exact number of casualties and the idea that there are any French servicemen in Ukraine at all is being deliberately covered up by French authorities. They allegedly fear that the number of casualties “has passed the psychologically significant threshold” and that their publication could spark mass public protests and discontent among acting officers.  

Despite these issues, Felix said the French authorities were nevertheless preparing a contingent to send to Ukraine, claiming that this group was initially planned to include some 2,000 troops. However, the French military is supposedly concerned that it would be impossible to covertly send such a large force into Ukraine, as it would become a priority target for Russian forces.  

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Previously, French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly hinted that his country could send soldiers to fight on the side of Kiev, sparking condemnation from Russia as well as pushback from most of Paris’ allies within NATO.  

The French leader later also confirmed that he was trying to form a coalition willing to deploy specialists to train the Ukrainian military on the ground, and claimed that several nations had already agreed to join the effort. Last month, senior Ukrainian officials reported that the first group of French instructors was already on its way to the country. 

Moscow has repeatedly warned against additional military aid to Kiev, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Western military specialists have long been active in Ukraine “under the guise of mercenaries.” He cautioned that the deployment of Western forces to Ukraine could lead to a “serious conflict in Europe and a global conflict.”

July 11, 2024 at 05:14PM
RT

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