NewsFrance's Foreign Legion to Enter Ukraine: A Bold Move Amid NATO Concerns

France's Foreign Legion to Enter Ukraine: A Bold Move Amid NATO Concerns

Media report: France is sending Foreign Legion soldiers to Ukraine.
Media report: France is sending Foreign Legion soldiers to Ukraine.
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1:19 PM EDT, May 6, 2024

Analyst Stephen Bryen, in an interview with "Asia Times," reported that France plans to deploy troops to Ukraine. Approximately a hundred soldiers from the 3rd Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment will be sent to Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine. Their mission is to assist the Ukrainian 54th Independent Mechanized Brigade in repelling the Russian incursion in the Donbas region.
In 2022, many Ukrainians served in the French Foreign Legion. Following the outbreak of the war, they were permitted to return to their homeland to join the Ukrainian army. Stephen Bryen, a former Deputy Secretary of Defense of the USA during Ronald Reagan's presidency, suggests that France is now taking a significant step by sending its own soldiers to Ukraine.
Initially, France plans to dispatch 100 soldiers, although Bryen mentions the possibility of eventually deploying up to 1,500 military personnel from the Foreign Legion. These units will be positioned directly in the combat zone to support Ukrainians against the Russian incursion in Donbas, with the first group including artillery and observation specialists.
French President Emmanuel Macron stated in late February that defeating Russia is essential for securing peace in Europe. He has not dismissed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine in the future, a move which is expected to face strong opposition from the United States.

Bryen describes France's decision to send Foreign Legion soldiers as a form of compromise, explaining that France avoids deploying its national army while also not sending French citizens, except a few officers.

The question of how Russia and NATO will respond to France's decision is critical, according to Bryen. By acting independently, France cannot expect NATO support under Article 5 should the Russians attack French troops outside of Ukraine. Bryen notes, however, that individual NATO members could still provide logistical and communication support to the French.
He also highlighted that the Foreign Legion would have to travel through Poland to reach Ukraine, which could be interpreted by Russia as an act of war against both France and Poland.
As of now, neither France nor Ukraine has officially confirmed these reports.

Key question regarding the dispatch of French soldiers to Ukraine

Bryen emphasizes the "key question" of Russia's and NATO's reaction to France's decision. France's unilateral action may preclude asking for NATO's assistance under Article 5, he suggests. Even if French troops are attacked outside Ukraine, rallying NATO support would be challenging.
Despite this, Bryen believes that NATO members could individually support France, especially in logistics and communication. The necessity for the Foreign Legion to pass through Poland poses the question of whether Russia would view this as an act of war against both France and Poland.
To date, there has been no official confirmation from France or the Ukrainian authorities regarding these reports.
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