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The Guardian: France denies its soldiers present in Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 9, 2023 2:15 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky is welcomed by French Armies Minister Sebastien Lecornu (R) upon his arrival at the Paris Orly airport, outside Paris, on Feb. 8, 2023, (JULIEN DE ROSA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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According to the Guardian, the French Defense Ministry denied the presence of its soldiers in Ukraine, responding to information from allegedly classified papers that were said to be leaked online earlier this week.

As reported by the Guardian, the so-called documents suggest that a small contingent of less than a hundred special operations personnel from NATO members France, the U.S., the U.K., and Latvia were in Ukraine.

"There are no French forces engaged in operation in Ukraine. The documents cited do not come from the French armies. We do not comment on documents whose source is uncertain," a French Defense Ministry spokesperson said, as quoted by the Guardian.

The Pentagon started an investigation after the New York Times reported that classified documents detailing U.S. and NATO plans for supplying arms to Ukraine for the upcoming counteroffensive were posted on Twitter and Telegram earlier this week.

New York Times: Pentagon investigating classified Ukraine war document leak
Secret American and NATO plans for supplying aid to Ukraine ahead of its expected upcoming offensive were posted on social media earlier this week, prompting an investigation by the Pentagon, senior Biden administration officials told the New York Times.

Ukrainian military intelligence said that the documents leaked online were forged by Russia.

Earlier on April 8, the Washington Post reported, citing the leaked classified war papers, that the infamous Kremlin-backed Wagner Group mercenaries "has sought to purchase arms from Turkey, a NATO ally."

According to the report, some Wagner personnel "met with Turkish contacts to purchase weapons and equipment from Turkey for Wagner's efforts in Mali and Ukraine" in early February.

However, according to the Washington Post, the leaked papers do not clarify what the Turkish government may have known about the efforts by Wagner or if they "proved fruitful."

"But the revelation that a NATO ally may have been assisting Russia in its war on Ukraine could prove explosive, particularly as Turkey has sought to block the addition of Sweden into the ranks of the transatlantic military alliance," the media reported.

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