Russian intimidation of France and fake news about the French military in Ukraine

France has condemned the summoning of its ambassador to the Russian Foreign Ministry, saying that Moscow is using “intimidation tactics” through diplomatic channels. Russia has summoned the French ambassador to Moscow to condemn what the Kremlin says is Paris’ “provocative” policy.

The statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently resumed discussions on the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine to support Ukrainians in their fight against Russian invaders, sparked Russia’s strong reaction.

According to Paris, the Russian Foreign Ministry “once again resorts to shifting the blame” by trying to accuse Western countries of threatening Russia, while Russia itself has unleashed a war of aggression against Ukraine and continues to carry out aggressive actions to destabilize European countries, in particular through cyberattacks, disinformation, and hybrid actions.

France will continue to support Ukraine in the long term as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression, French foreign ministry said in a statement.

French forces in Ukraine would be targets for Russians – Russian foreign ministry

Russia warned France that if President Emmanuel Macron sent troops to Ukraine, then they would be seen as legitimate targets by the Russian troops, Reuters reported.

“It is characteristic that Macron himself explains this rhetoric with the desire to create some kind of ‘strategic uncertainty’ for Russia. If the French appear in the conflict zone, they will inevitably become targets for the Russian armed forces,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated.

Zakharova claimed Russia has seen growing numbers of French nationals among those killed in Ukraine, without giving any evidence of this.

Russian disinformation about French troops in Ukraine

Russia coordinates its operations at several levels, as has been the case in the past. At the official level, Moscow is putting pressure on Paris by summoning the ambassador, and in the media field, Russian propaganda outlets are spreading fake news about the French. 

A new Russian fake about the French was not long in coming. According to Kremlin media, French soldiers had arrived in Ukraine to take part in the fighting. It is a group of about 1,600 people. Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels disseminate this information. News sites, including websites in English and French, that are part of the pro-Russian network, pick up this information (

The truth is that there are no French army units, including the Foreign Legion, in Ukraine. The French authorities have officially denied this Russian fake.

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