Russia declassifies intel about France’s plans to send 2,000 troops to Ukraine

  11 July 2024    Read: 727
Russia declassifies intel about France’s plans to send 2,000 troops to Ukraine

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has declassified a report by one of its agents about March 2024 preparations to send French troops to Ukraine.

The full report by the SVR agent working under the alias Felix was published in the Razvedchik (Scout) magazine, reports citing TASS. 

SVR Director Sergey Naryshkin said on March 19 that Paris was already preparing to send some 2,000 troops to Ukraine. However, France denied the information at the time.

"The French army is worried about the increasing number of French nationals killed in the Ukrainian theater of operations. Army officials point out that ‘dozens of French citizens’ were killed in just one Russian operation, which destroyed a temporary base of foreign fighters near Kharkov on January 17. Since then, ‘such attacks have become common in the conflict.’ French Defense Ministry officials privately admit that the country hasn’t seen such losses overseas since the Algerian War in the second half of the 20th century," the cable code says.

According to the report, casualty numbers are being carefully concealed, as well as the very presence of French troops in Ukraine. The agent writes, citing sources, that the number of Frenchmen killed in Ukraine "has already passed a psychologically significant threshold." Making such sensitive data public could trigger mass protests, the agent added.

According to him, France’s military leadership is also wary about potential grievances among active mid-level officers because the share of their fellow servicemen among those killed is "disproportionately high," and issues have already emerged with finding "volunteers" to spell troops in Ukraine.

"However, according to available data, preparations to send French troops to Ukraine are still underway. At the initial stage, their number will stand at about 2,000. The French Defense Ministry fears that it will be impossible to discreetly deploy and garrison such a large military unit in Ukraine. That said, it will become a priority, legitimate target for attacks by the Russian Armed Forces," the cable code notes.

The idea of sending Western ground troops to Ukraine started circulating after French President Emmanuel Macron said in late February that some 20 Western countries taking part in a Paris meeting on further assistance for Kiev had discussed the issue. According to him, no consensus was reached on that at the meeting but such a possibility cannot be ruled out in the future.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that the deployment of foreign troops to Ukraine could lead to negative if not irreparable consequences.

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