In a report carried by the Russian state news agency TASS on Tuesday, March 19 Sergey Naryshkin, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), says that he “has data according to which France is already preparing a military contingent to send to Ukraine.”

Naryshkin said the information Russia has received indicates that France is preparing an initial force of 2,000 troops for the operation and that “such a large military unit cannot be transferred and stationed in Ukraine unnoticed.

“It will thus become a legitimate priority target for attacks by the Russian armed forces. This means that it will suffer the fate of all the French who have ever come to the Russian world with a sword.”

Naryshkin’s comments were quickly picked up by Russian mainstream and social media.

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The SVR’s intelligence assessment follows a series of recent assertions made by French President Emmanuel Macron where he did not rule out the need for Western forces one day having to be sent to bolster Ukraine and to “do what is needed” to prevent a Russian victory.

While this stopped short of an unequivocal statement of intent, it is possible that French military commanders have been set the task of brainstorming the options should that day ever dawn.

If so, the SVR could have picked up on relevant discussions. And much as when they intercepted a conference call among senior Bundeswehr Air Force officers about the use of Taurus missiles, they leaked it to give the impression of a definite plan of action. Military staff are constantly tasked to make tactical assessments of a range of possible military scenarios for their political masters.

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The Russian Orthodox Church has thrown down the gauntlet, explicitly asserting Russia’s imperial mission. The West can either dismiss Church’s call as madness or recognize it as Putin’s ambition.

An op-ed article in Tuesday’s Le Monde, written by France’s Chief of the Staff of the Army, Pierre Schill – headlined: “The French Army is ready” – may have reinforced the SVR’s concern that “there’s no smoke without fire.” However the Russians interpreted it, the article is a clear indication of the changing mindset in France towards the security of the nation, its territory, and its interests.

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While Ukraine is not specifically mentioned, much of Schill’s thoughts strongly signpost that change has been brought about by the threat to Europe that the war represents.

In a separate piece, also carried by TASS on Tuesday, Naryshkin said, in reference to earlier claims that French members of Ukraine’s international legion had been killed by a missile strike in Kharkiv on Jan. 23: “Sooner or later, Macron will have to reveal the ugly truth, but he will strive to delay the ‘confession’ as much as possible. As they say in the Élysée Palace, the number of French deaths ‘has already exceeded a psychologically significant threshold.’”

His final assessment was: “The current leadership of the country [France] does not care about the deaths of ordinary French people or about the concerns of the generals.”

Unsurprisingly the French Ministry of Defense reacted to Russia's claims on Tuesday evening denying that there was any truth in the allegation saying that Naryshkin's assertion was just another example of the Kremlin's "systematic use of disinformatiom."

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Comments (3)

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andy
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Slava Ukraine!

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D,G,
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so what, sergay naryshkin, director rasshist stupidity service
rasshist has at least 2000 nepalese abducted and forced to fight in Ukraine
so what sergay? who was the worst actor on the rasshist security council meeting before 20/1-02-2022? it was sergay naryshkin who won a raspberry

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Dijon
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It seems odd to put the word "Russian" and "intelligence " together to form a sentence. A contradiction of words.

D,G,
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@Dijon, hearhear

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