Russia

100 French Foreign Legion Troops Already in Ukraine, Ex-DoD Official Says

French foreign legion soldiers. File photo

Oleg BurunovMedia reports earlier stated that NATO currently does not have any operational plans for sending a military contingent to Ukraine even though the alliance has allegedly established “the two red lines” for its direct intervention in the conflict.“France has sent its first troops officially to Ukraine,” former US deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, Stephen Bryen, has claimed in an article published by the Asia Times. Bryen went on to write that the forces have been deployed “in support of the Ukrainian 54th Independent Mechanized Brigade in the city of Slavyansk.”The French soldiers have reportedly been drawn from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, one of the main components of France’s Foreign Legion. French authorities have not commented on the matter yet.

“These troops are being posted directly in a hot combat area and are intended to help the Ukrainians resist Russian advances in Donbass. The first 100 are artillery and surveillance specialists," Bryen argued.

According to him, about 1,500 French Foreign Legion soldiers are scheduled to arrive in Ukraine in the foreseeable future.

The ex-US deputy undersecretary of defense wondered in this regard "whether this crosses the Russian red line on NATO involvement in Ukraine” and if "the Russians will see this as initiating a wider war beyond Ukraine’s borders?"

AnalysisMacron’s Idea to Send NATO Troops to Ukraine ‘Made Him Look Very Foolish’ 1 March, 07:51 GMTItaly’s La Repubblica newspaper reported earlier on Sunday that NATO – “in a very confidential manner and without official communique – has established at least two red lines, beyond which there could be the alliance’s direct intervention in the conflict in Ukraine.” At the same time, NATO does not plan to immediately send its military contingent to Ukraine, according to the newspaper.Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron once again did not rule out the possibility of NATO sending troops from Europe to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Macron’s statement as “very dangerous”, with the statement also slammed by groups in Britain, France, Hungary, Italy, and Slovakia.

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