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Presence of French-speaking mercenaries identified in 20 cases in Zaporozhye — politician

Ethnic Poles and Georgians account for the largest groups of mercenaries in the Ukrainian army

MELITOPOL, May 8. /TASS/. Up to two dozen cases of the presence of French-speaking foreign mercenaries in the Zaporozhye Region have been exposed, Vladimir Rogov, the chairman of the commission on sovereignty, patriotic projects and support for veterans under the Civic Chamber, has told TASS.

Ethnic Poles and Georgians account for the largest groups of mercenaries in the Ukrainian army.

"There were French-speaking mercenaries, but without any French patches or insignia. Both white and dark-skinned. There were up to two dozen such cases in the Zaporozhye Region. Poles, Georgians and Ichkerians (supporters of the self-proclaimed and non-existent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria - TASS) are the largest groups. They were in Orekhov, Gulyaypole and in the city of Zaporozhye itself, as well as Kamyshevakha and Kushugum," Rogov said.

Their exact number on the line of engagement is difficult to determine.

"The number of these mercenaries is changing all the time. They appear sporadically. We cannot say that fighters from Georgia or Poles are holding the frontline," Rogov stated.

On May 6, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement to slam French President Emmanuel Macron's statements about the possibility of sending French forces and contingents from other NATO countries to Ukraine as irresponsible, noting that Western media had reported the presence of a number of French Foreign Legion mercenaries in the Kiev-controlled territory. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 8 that French military personnel would inevitably become targets for the Russian army, should they appear in the conflict zone in Ukraine.