The son of a brigadier general of the French army was killed in a Russian missile strike in Ukraine's Kharkiv. His partner (who was also killed in the strike) came from a military dynasty in France.
The name of the Frenchman is Sabastienne Claude Remy Benard. He served in the RICM (formerly the Moroccan Colonial Infantry Regiment) in the Marine Light Armour unit. These units were involved in the transfer of AMX-10RC wheeled tanks to Kyiv in military aid packages. During the process, the tanks were deemed unsuitable for mechanised combat.
Benard first arrived in Ukraine in 2022. He did not receive the desired position in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and returned to his homeland, Mash Telegram channel reports. A year later he tried his luck again and joined the 5th Assault Brigade. On July 3, in the Bakhmut area, he participated in the medical evacuation of his wounded fellow countryman Maxim Leconte (a rifleman from the International Legion of Territorial Defence), who publicly admitted that the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive turned out to be a bloody failure. On January 16, he was killed in a Russian missile strike.
Sabastienne Claude Remy Benard partner was Alexis Drion, a son of Frédéric Drion, who became a brigadier general of the French army in 2001. Alexis joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine no later than last year. He served in the 2nd Battalion of the International Legion and was killed on January 16 too.
Other French mercenaries (about 60 killed and 20 wounded) are believed to be activists of Nazi groups in France and other EU countries. Each of them underwent army service, but many were fired for inappropriate behaviour, after which they left for Ukraine. In total, more than a hundred mercenaries from France have been killed during the fighting in the special military operation in Ukraine.
The Russian Defence Ministry reported the attack on the camp of foreign mercenaries of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kharkiv on January 17. The building was completely destroyed. More than 60 people were killed, and over 20 others were taken to hospitals.
RIA Novosti published the names of 13 French mercenaries who were killed in Kharkiv as a result of the Russian attack on the temporary deployment camp of Ukrainian military. The news agency received the list from French volunteers of SOS Donbass.
“This is an incomplete list of French mercenaries in Ukraine [who were killed in Kharkiv]. The most important information – alive or dead, military rank and so on – will be exposed later, as well as other names,” SOS Donbass chair Anna Novikova said.
The list of the killed fighters includes men from 21 to 49 years old:
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said