The Quai d'Orsay would have done without this controversy.

France "does not have 'mercenaries'" in Ukraine, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday, January 18, in reaction to Moscow's assertions that it had targeted a building housing "French mercenaries" in Kharkiv (north) on Tuesday. -East).

"France has no 'mercenaries', neither in Ukraine nor elsewhere, unlike others. This is a new crude Russian manipulation. We should not give it more importance than the previous ones and the following ones which are sure to arrive,” added the Quai d’Orsay.

In the process, the Tass agency reported that the French ambassador to Russia, Pierre Lévy, was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, citing the ministry's spokesperson. 

While the Russian MoD is claiming it killed “French mercenaries” they actually hit residential, energy facilities and medical facilities.

This statement widely amplified by media with little checks takes place while France's announcement to deliver more SCALP missile [#infowar].…

— alleyesonwagner (@alleyesonwagner) January 17, 2024

Russia claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a strike carried out the evening before on a building in which "French mercenaries" were deployed in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city, where local authorities reported 17 civilians injured.

“While the Russian Ministry of Defense claims to have killed French mercenaries,” they actually hit energy and medical infrastructures,” responded the NGO All Eyes on Wagner on the social network X (formerly Twitter ).

France denounces an attempt at manipulation

These Russian accusations came after President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that France would deliver 40 additional long-range Scalp missiles to kyiv and sign a security agreement with Ukraine.

Ukraine's allies also launched an "artillery" coalition in Paris on Thursday to respond to kyiv's dire weapons needs.

For a senior French officer, the tempo of the accusations responds precisely to the French announcements.

“Russia uses the information field to respond to the political field,” he explains on condition of anonymity.

“This is part of their narrative, structured around a NATO war against Russia and the plot against Moscow to prevent it from being a power,” he adds.

According to him, the Russian accusations are primarily aimed at the Russian population, "to confirm that its leaders are fighting courageously against a bloc of countries."

They also maintain “a sort of vagueness for those who think, in Western countries, that Russia is in the right”.

With AFP

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