Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director: Macron denies death of French troops in Ukraine out of fear of protests

10:06 20.03.2024 •

French President Emmanuel Macron (photo) seeks to postpone the acknowledgement of the death of French troops in Ukraine, wary of new protests amid the ongoing farmers’ campaign across the country, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin said.

"Sooner or later, Macron will have to reveal the ugly truth, but he will try to delay the ‘confessions’ as long as possible. As they say in the Elysee Palace, the number of French killed ‘has already crossed a psychologically significant threshold.’ The disclosure of such sensitive data could provoke citizens to protest, especially against the background of farmers' massive anti-government campaigns across the country," Naryshkin noted.

According to the intelligence head, the French Army is "visibly concerned" over the growing number of French citizens killed in Ukraine.

"It has been registered that ‘dozens of French citizens’ were killed when Russian forces destroyed a temporary deployment facility for foreigners near Kharkov on 17 January alone. Since then, ‘such attacks have become the norm in the Ukrainian conflict.’ As the French Ministry of Defense unofficially admits, the country has not suffered similar losses abroad since the Algerian war in the second half of the 20th century," Naryshkin underscored.

"The military leadership is also concerned about the discontent among active middle-ranking officers in the French army. They are ‘disproportionately numerous’ among the dead and already at the present stage there are problems with finding ‘volunteers’ to rotate and ‘replace the casualties’ in the Ukrainian theatre," he said.

The SVR director also pointed out that Paris carefully concealing not only the number of casualties, but also the very fact that French military personnel are engaged in Ukraine.

"As a result, the agencies involved are trying to find solutions to practical issues: the dead need to be buried, families need to be compensated, and disabled persons need to be paid pensions. All this requires proper documentation, and further ‘double accounting of deaths’ is fraught with lawsuits from discontented relatives," Naryshkin said.

Sergey Naryshkin
Photo: TASS

The Russian side has information that France is preparing a military contingent of 2,000 troops to be sent to Ukraine, Sergey Naryshkin said.

"The current leadership of the country (France - TASS) does not care about the deaths of ordinary French people or about the concerns of the generals. According to information coming to the Russian SVR, a contingent to be sent to Ukraine is already being prepared. Initially, it will include around 2,000 troops," he said.

According to the Russian foreign intelligence chief, the French military "fears that such a large military unit cannot be transferred and stationed in Ukraine unnoticed."

"It will thus become a legitimate priority target for attacks by the Russian armed forces. This means that it will suffer the fate of all the French who have ever come to the Russian world with a sword," he stressed.

After a conference on Ukraine in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron did not unequivocally rule out potential sending Western land troops to the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine. He also vowed that Western states would "do what is needed" to prevent Russia’s victory in this conflict.


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