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Kharkov incident reveals France's prolonged involvement in Ukraine conflict — expert

Oleg Karpovich recalled that mercenarism in France was punishable by law

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. The elimination of French mercenaries in Kharkov shows that France has long been involved in the military conflict in Ukraine, Oleg Karpovich, the pro-rector for research at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, has told TASS. For this reason, he remarked, none of Paris’s peace settlement initiatives is trustworthy.

"Russia is at war not with Ukraine, but, in fact, with NATO and its members. Mercenaries are being used, secret operations [by NATO countries] are in progress," Karpovich said. "Official Paris is well aware of this. What happened in Kharkov shows that the French have long been involved in the military conflict in Ukraine. This is part of the hybrid war that the collective West is waging against Russia."

Asked how such events correlated with the intention of French President Emmanuel Macron to act almost as a broker between Moscow and Kiev, Karpovich replied that Paris' initiatives could hardly be trusted.

"True, Macron is trying to play the first fiddle in the European orchestra, but all his peacemaking efforts and other initiatives are incomplete. He remains a politician who cannot be trusted," the expert believes. "This is Macron's second presidential term. No matter how hard he may try to stay in the limelight, I think all his efforts will be in vain."

Karpovich recalled that mercenarism in France was punishable by law. The presence of French mercenaries in the zone of the special military operation contradicts Paris' assurances that they allegedly do not take part in the Ukrainian conflict.

"The policy of double standards in the West has been applied for a long time. Therefore, in attempts to attain some political aims, including those related to inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia, they are ready to turn a blind eye on what is written in the legislation of France or other states," Karpovich said. "The West will stop at nothing in attempts to harm Russia."

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Russian forces had carried out a surgical strike on the temporary deployment site of foreign militants in Kharkov, predominantly French nationals. The strike left more than 60 militants dead and more than 20 others wounded. The French ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.