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Macron Eager to Send French Troops Into Russian Meat Grinder to 'Aid' Ukraine

© AFP 2023 GONZALO FUENTESFrench President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the end of the international conference aimed at strengthening Western support for Ukraine, at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, on February 26, 2024.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the end of the international conference aimed at strengthening Western support for Ukraine, at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, on February 26, 2024.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.03.2024
If Macron does deploy French troops along the battlefront, France will end up receiving more body bags than the French public would be willing to accept, thanks to Russian artillery and precision guided glide bombs.
Sputnik reported on March 19, quoting Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergei Naryshkin, that France is preparing to deploy an initial contingent of 2,000 troops in Ukraine.
"According to information received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, a contingent of troops is already being prepared to be sent to Ukraine. At the initial stage, it will number about 2,000 people," Naryshkin said in a statement on March 19.
On February 27, during the course of a conference in Paris, leaders from 27 EU member countries, including 21 heads of state and governments, discussed sending troops to Ukraine to help Kiev win the war against Russia.

Following the conference French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that stationing Western troops to Ukraine “cannot be ruled out."

There was “no agreement this evening to officially send troops onto the ground but we cannot exclude anything,” he told reporters.
“We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war,” Macron said. “And I say this with determination, but also with a collective humility that we need to have, in light of the last two years."
To begin with, the proposal to send EU nation troops to Ukraine met with limited support and some scepticism from other EU leaders.
Responding to Macron's statements to the press, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said participants at the conference had agreed there would be “no ground troops” on Ukrainian soil sent by European countries.

Macron's proposal to deploy French troops in Ukraine also has little domestic support. French opposition leaders have accused Macron of being uncaring of French lives and of risking a wider conflict for the sake of his personal geopolitical ambitions.

Macron, however, has ignored inputs from within France and from other EU leaders. He has also brushed aside warnings from Russian officials that French troop deployment in Ukraine could trigger a wider conflict.
The leaders of Germany, France and Poland met in Berlin on March 15 to resolve differences over how to support Ukraine. Following the meeting, Macron, speaking to Le Parisien, reaffirmed that ground operations in Ukraine might be necessary “at some point.”
It now appears that France has decided to go ahead with the deployment of additional French troops.

Nature of French Troop Deployment

Macron has so far been vague about the precise purpose for deploying troops to Ukraine, other than implying that they would help Ukraine win the war against Russia. He told Le Parisien, "We will have to have operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter the Russian forces."
The French newspaper Le Monde in an earlier report had indicated that the country’s special forces would be deployed in small groups as instructors. The intent would be to create a strategic dilemma for Russia.

According to the SVR head, French nationals are already in Ukraine. It is highly likely that the nationals are former French special forces soldiers, fighting in the guise of mercenaries. So the escalation being contemplated by Macron now likely involves flagrantly deploying French troops in designated areas in Ukraine. The perimeter of the French garrison, as well as the airspace over it, would be defended by French troops. In other words, using subterfuge, France would be able to deploy its Air Defence systems, operated by French personnel, within Ukraine.

The Strategic Dilemma for Russia

The French deployment would indeed present Russia a strategic dilemma: Russia would have the option to either ignore the small French deployment, or attack it.
Ignoring the deployment would allow Russian forces to focus on its SMO aims of demilitarisation and denazification. However, the likely French response to Russian restraint would be to gradually increase the size of the deployment or increase the number of such deployments. The Russian restraint would also tempt Poland and perhaps other NATO countries to similarly deploy their troops in Western Ukraine.
If Russia doesn't ignore the initial French deployment, and chooses to attack the French contingent, then the French could rapidly increase the size of the deployment and bring in many more AD systems manned by well trained operators. Russia would have effectively been presented with Hobson's choice.
The increased deployment of AD units by French and perhaps Polish and other nation forces would allow the intervening NATO nations to create a veritable no fly zone over Western and Central Ukraine. As a result, the effectiveness of Russian cruise missiles and drones attacks on Western Ukraine would be reduced.
The no fly zone will serve as a sanctuary for Ukrainian Air Force F-16 operations from a base in Western Ukraine.
France could even deploy its own cruise and ballistic missiles to hit back at Russian forces.

NATO AWACS Operations

A no fly zone in Ukraine would additionally facilitate safe French AWACS operations from within Ukrainian airspace.
Currently, NATO AWACS and ISR aircraft operate from outside Ukrainian airspace. The Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) battlefront is over 1000 kms from Ukraine's Western borders. With a no fly zone implemented using NATO AD units and Ukrainian F-16s operating from a base in Western Ukraine, French / NATO AWACS could start to patrol around 500 kms of the battlefront.
The synergy between F-16 and AWACS operations would present a formidable challenge to Russian forces. Considering the very limited number of Russian AWACS available for deployment, the forward deployment of NATO AWACS will give AFU F-16 fighters armed with long range AIM-120C missiles a lethal capability against Russian fighters as well as cruise missiles and drones.
The attrition rate of Russian cruise missiles and drones would further increase due to the superior tracking and engagement ability of the AWACS - F-16 combination.

Russian Options

Increased air dominance of Western Ukrainian airspace does not present a game changing threat to Russian forces as it will be possible to counter the air dominance through the stepped up usage of ballistic missiles.
AD systems and fighter-launched air-to-air missiles are not as effective at engaging ballistic missiles, as they are with cruise missiles and drones. Going by Western reports, Russia has likely already considered the option of domestic production of cost effective ballistic missiles based on Iranian designs.

Russian forces have demonstrated that they are adept at negating NATO weapon system advantages through good tactics. French deployment notwithstanding, Russian forces will continue to grind Ukrainian troops into a relentless retreat.

There is good evidence to suggest that through the course of the SMO, Russia has conserved its manpower and firepower to deter a NATO intervention. So if French troops start attacking Russian forces, Russian weapons stockpiles and experienced soldiers will ensure a quick payback.


Any deployment of troops to Ukraine by France or another EU nation would be highly escalatory, but militarily it would serve no purpose. It will not prevent Russia from achieving its SMO goals. Instead, it will needlessly put our world at great risk. A single miscalculation, such as a missile launched by French troops hitting Russian territory, would not just widen the conflict, it could well end humanity.
At best, large scale French troop deployment in Ukraine would be able to slow the advance of Russian troops, at a high cost in terms of human lives, including French lives.

The French president has to be delusional to think that he can stop Russian forces from advancing without placing French soldiers along the battlefront. But if Macron does deploy French troops along the battlefront, France will end up receiving more body bags than the French public would be willing to accept, thanks to Russian artillery and precision guided glide bombs

Macron recently alluded in a public statement that EU nations not supportive of NATO troops deployment in Ukraine are being cowardly. Let's just say Macron is not being brave either, by attempting to help Ukraine win the war against Russia without committing French troops to the Russian meat grinder operating at the battlefront.
Ukrainian servicemen walk on the shore of Dnipro river after exiting a boat at the front line near Kherson, Ukraine, Sunday Oct. 15, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.03.2024
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