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IPFS News Link • France

French Units In Ukraine Will Be 'Priority' Target, Warns Russia

•, by Tyler Durden

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.