French Units in Ukraine Will be ‘Priority’ Target, Warns Russia

by State Brief

Not learning anything from Napoleon, France intends to go to war with Russia again.

Russian intelligence has alleged that France is preparing a military contingent of 2,000 troops to be deployed on the ground in Ukraine. The claim was made by Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin on Tuesday, and was quickly picked up in international headlines, also given it is rare for him to make statements like this.

“The current leadership of the country [France] does not care about the deaths of ordinary French people or about the concerns of the generals,” Naryshkin said as translated in TASS. “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.”

The Russian intelligence chief further said 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,” Naryshkin emphasized. The past months have seen instances where Moscow claimed its forces took out French mercenaries in Kharkiv, but neither the Ukraine nor France ever verified this. Russia is now saying it will target foreign troops in Ukraine as a “priority”. 

He didn’t elaborate further or offer anything in the way of verification or proof, but it comes after French President Emmanuel Macron sparked fierce debate in Europe last month by telling allies they shouldn’t rule out sending Western troops to Ukraine. “Nothing should be excluded,” Macron had said. “We will do everything that we must so that Russia does not win.”

While most Western allies have voiced their rejection of a scenario of sending NATO forces to Ukraine, officials have been urging more rapid production of weapons. Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni is the latest to say that deploying Western ground troops to Ukraine must “be avoided at any cost” in Tuesday remarks.

On Monday European Council President Charles Michel called for Europe to shift to a “war economy” mode in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. “If we do not get the EU’s response right and do not give Ukraine enough support to stop Russia, we are next. We must therefore be defense-ready and shift to a ‘war economy’ mode,” Michel stated in an op-ed published in European newspapers and the Euractiv website.

According to details of the latest efforts to free up more EU funds for Ukraine:

He [Michel] urged countries to facilitate investments in defense — including by considering changing the mandate of the EU lending arm, the European Investment Bank, to allow it to support Europe’s defense industry.

EU countries approved an agreement on Monday to increase the EU’s support for Ukraine’s armed forces by 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) — amid warnings that Kyiv’s forces need more resources to hold the line against a larger Russian army as a $60 billion US aid package for Ukraine is being held up by Congress.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell hailed the hasty cash injection by saying, “With the fund, we will continue to support Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s war of aggression with whatever it takes and for as long as we need to.” But on the battlefield things continue to look very bad for Ukraine…

Meanwhile, more negative coverage belatedly seeping into US mainstream media on just how desperate and dire the situation is for Ukraine forces at this point…

Many war analysts have said that Western efforts to ramp up arms and money to Kiev are unlikely to make a difference, and that Russia has enough ammo and manpower to sustain the fight possibly for years to come. President Putin this week has floated the idea of creating a security buffer zone to prevent drone and rocket cross-border attacks on Russian territory. This would involve seizing more Ukrainian territory, especially along its northern border areas.

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