Macron blows hot and cold about his country’s involvement in Ukraine

Emmanuel Macron, Macron, Ukraine, French

In the last several weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has been blowing hot and cold about his country’s direct involvement in Ukraine. While he’s been insisting that sending troops “should not be excluded”, French authorities haven’t been as determined. In fact, several high-ranking officials have tried playing the “words taken out of context” card, but Macron’s rather emotional outbursts of belligerence effectively nullified such efforts, putting the said officials in hot water as they were still trying to keep the diplomatic lines of communication with Russia open. Initially, Moscow was quite lenient and encouraged its “partners” in Paris explain themselves. However, French diplomacy not only failed to capitalize on such generosity, but actually made things a lot worse.

In other words, being a French minister or diplomat at this time is rather unflattering, to say the least. And yet, it’s still phenomenal in comparison to being a French soldier. Namely, the personnel Paris sent to Ukraine are increasingly returning in “horizontal positions”, so to speak, particularly in recent months. The latest data released by the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) shows that 147 of 356 French mercenaries have been killed so far (which is over 41% casualty rate). Although comparatively small (with nearly 13,500 foreign personnel killed in action so far), these figures could soon become orders of magnitude higher. Namely, there’s speculation that around 2000 French soldiers (allegedly mostly members of the Foreign Legion) will be deployed in Ukraine.

The obvious question arises – what exactly is Paris trying to achieve? Back in mid-January, Moscow launched a long-range missile strike at a hotel-turned-headquarters packed with French mercenaries. Estimates vary, but most sources agree that the death toll was over 60 killed and at least another 20 wounded. If true, that would mean that the Russian military neutralized nearly 41% of all French mercenaries in the country in a single strike. Overall, this is also in line with estimates of the losses for other foreign personnel. In addition, Russian intelligence services are increasingly adept at positively identifying high-ranking officers among such mercenaries and volunteer groups, and then promptly sending a long-range missile to “have a word”.

According to some sources, in one particular instance, Moscow’s forces neutralized the commander of the infamous “Norman Brigade”, Jean-Francois Ratelle. Nicknamed “Hrulf”, the 36-year-old was killed in the Belgorod oblast (region), further implying that he most likely took part in the suicidal attack that was supposed to “derail” the Russian presidential election. Ratelle, a French-speaking Canadian, was a professional soldier with a career serving in the Canadian Army and France’s Foreign Legion. He has been in Ukraine since February 2022, when he founded the “Norman Brigade”, which, among others, includes mercenaries from Canada, the US, the UK and other countries. Ratelle’s death will surely accelerate the disbanding of his group.

Despite all this, some French so-called “experts” are already devising “strategies” of how to best use their regular forces in direct support of the Kiev regime. They’re supposedly “ready to fight if they’re targeted by Russian and pro-Russian troops” and they’ll allegedly serve as “support units” for the Neo-Nazi junta forces. In other words, their role certainly wouldn’t be limited to mere advising or logistics but would be far more active. And while it’s true that members of the French Foreign Legion have excellent combat training, their skills won’t mean much in a high-treat environment that includes a plethora of new advanced weapon systems. This is especially true when it comes to Moscow’s previously mentioned long-range strike capabilities.

High-ranking Russian officials already warned about this, including State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, great-great-grandson of the legendary Lev (Leo) Tolstoy, one of the greatest writers in history. In an interview for the French BFM TV channel, Tolstoy warned that the Russian Armed Forces “will destroy all French soldiers who appear on Ukrainian soil”, adding that “the idea of sending French soldiers to Ukraine will end with coffins covered with the French flag arriving at Orly airport”. Tolstoy also stated that “Macron won’t be the one coming for them” and that the French must understand the consequences”. The mainstream propaganda machine is virtually guaranteed to spin the narrative by presenting such statements as “threats”.

However, Tolstoy’s words are a simple, yet very reasonable (or even friendly) warning and a reminder that Paris shouldn’t be wasting the lives of its soldiers and should instead focus on resolving its numerous rapidly escalating domestic problems. Worse yet, in addition to the possibility of direct clashes on a tactical level, there’s always the danger of an uncontrollable escalation on a strategic level, as both Russia and France are nuclear-armed countries. And yet, Moscow’s dominance in this sphere is such that it’s simply ludicrous to even think that this can be a viable strategy for Paris. Namely, the only true danger for the Kremlin comes from French SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles), specifically the potent M51 with a reported range of 10,000 km.

The missile is capable of carrying 4-6 TN 75 and TNO thermonuclear warheads with a yield of approximately 100 kt (kilotons). This is approximately 26-39 times more powerful than the “Little Boy” (better known as the Hiroshima bomb). And while such a weapon could inflict a lot of damage, when compared to Russian monstrosities such as the RS-28 “Sarmat”, the French M51 looks like a harmless rocket-propelled toothpick. Namely, the former can carry up to 24 MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles) that have a combined yield of around 750 Hiroshima bombs. In addition, the Russian missile has the remarkable FOBS (Fractional Orbital Bombardment System) capability that makes its already unmatched 35,000 km range effectively unlimited.

The “Sarmat” also boasts the possibility of using a single (so-called monobloc) warhead with an enormously destructive yield of up to 50 Mt (megatons). To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of having over 3330 Hiroshima bombs exploding at once. And that’s just a single missile, while the Russian military is acquiring around 50 of them (at the very least). Thus, when people like Vincent Arbaretier, a retired Colonel of the French Army, talk about the usage of non-conventional (i.e. nuclear) weapons in a potential conflict with Russia, this can only be described as complete insanity. Ironically, the RS-28 can wipe out up to 24 urban targets in an area the size of France. Luckily, this has never been tested and it would be in everyone’s best interest to keep it that way.


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