The Washington Post: Putin may hit the French military in Ukraine to put Macron in place

Putin will strike French instructors in Ukraine to humiliate Macron

Russian President Vladimir Putin may respond to the decision of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to send military instructors to Ukraine, columnist Lee Hockstader wrote for The Washington Post. France's NATO allies are not ready for direct confrontation with Russia. The French society is not prepared for such decisions either, he believes.

Hockstader believes Putin may decide to strike the French military to humiliate Macron, who is known to be one of the most aggressively anti-Russian Western leaders.

France remains one of the leading arms manufacturers, but it is still unclear what the country can offer to the Ukrainian military. French arms supplies to Ukraine are smaller than those of other NATO allies despite Macron's tough rhetoric.

The French society is not prepared to handle such a decision. In addition, Macron's allies do not support him as they do not want a direct confrontation with Russia.

It was reported in May that Macron wanted to form a coalition of EU instructors to be sent to Ukraine. According to Le Monde, sending French and European instructors could be decided within weeks or even days.

Kremlin: Foreign instructors in Ukraine have no immunity

Any foreign instructors training Ukrainian fighters do not enjoy any protection against Russian attacks on them, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said commenting on the WP article.

"There aren't any instructors that would have immunity from attacks on them. It doesn't matter if they are French or not,” he said, TASS reports.

"We continue the special military operation in accordance with the goals and objectives that were formulated by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief,” Peskov added.

Discussions about the need to send Western troops to Ukraine have been going on since February, when French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about it in public. At the end of May, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alexander Syrsky, signed documents authorising French instructors to visit Ukrainian training centers and become familiar with their infrastructure and personnel.

According to RFI, Macron may announce his decision on June 6, during a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the landing of the Allied forces in Normandy. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was invited to attend the ceremony.

The Kremlin admitted the possibility of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia in the event of a Western contingent appearing in Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry warned of retaliatory measures that "will be far beyond the political plane.” According to President Vladimir Putin, foreign military personnel are already present in Ukraine "under the guise of mercenaries” to service high-precision Western weapons.

French coffins in Ukraine

Five coffins and a banner reading "French soldiers in Ukraine” were found in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the morning of June 1, police sources told France Info and Le Parisien. The coffins contained bags of plaster.

Three people were detained in connection with the incident. They are said to be natives of Bulgaria, Germany and Ukraine. An investigation is underway to "determine possible foreign interference, Le Parisien said.

The violators were identified thanks to CCTV cameras — a white van parked not far from the Eiffel Tower, two people got out of the van and placed coffins and a banner on the sidewalk. The van driver was detained. He told the police that he was paid €40 to drop off two other men and their cargo. The two suspects initially managed to escape, but they were later found at the Bercy bus station while trying to take a bus to Berlin.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
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Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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