French instructors are already in Ukraine - French colonel


French military instructors have been in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, stated former commander of French Marine regiment, Peer de Jong, in an interview with Valeurs Acteurs on June 3.

Read also: Lithuania ready to join France in sending military instructors to Ukraine

On June 6, during events marking 80th anniversary of Allied landings in Normandy, it may be officially announced that French military instructors will be sent to Ukraine.

However, according to Jong, French troops “have been here for a long time.”

He suggested that an official announcement of deployment of instructors would only increase their number.

Former Marine commander also said that French instructors accompanied Caesar howitzers at every stage before arriving in Ukraine.

In addition, Jong noted that after crossing the border with Ukraine, military equipment stops as little as possible before arriving at the front, as it becomes very vulnerable to Russian strikes.

At the same time, French instructors accompanying equipment train Ukrainian artillerymen on the move, “sometimes on the side of the road.”

Read also: France to announce military training mission in Ukraine next week

Jong added that instructors also accompany Ukrainian soldiers who have been trained in France to Ukraine. This is done to check whether they have learned the material correctly.

French readiness to send troops in Ukraine

France is prepared to send instructors to train Ukrainian military personnel, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said on May 27, after a conversation with French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu.

Syrskyi expressed hope that other countries would join the initiative.

Read also: Macron to unveil plan for French military instructors in Ukraine during Zelenskyy’s Normandy visit

Discussions about French instructors are ongoing, and Ukraine is currently preparing documents to expedite the process once a decision is made, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry later clarified.

The deployment of instructors to Ukraine has been under discussion since February 2024, but no decision has been finalized, the French Defense Ministry told Reuters.

Sending Western military personnel to Ukraine in the future could not be ruled out, Macron said on Feb. 26.

While most Western allies have publicly rejected this idea, the French government later explained that French troops might participate in defending certain borders, conducting training, or providing ground-based air defense.

Macron ruled out French soldiers engaging "directly on the front lines."

Read also: Germany won't be joining France in sending military instructors to Ukraine

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