France Takes Down Fake Ukraine War Recruitment Website Targeting Immigrants

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Mar 29, 2024 - 07:30 PM

In a bizarre and unprecedented situation, France has flagged what officials are calling a fake recruitment website which seeks volunteers to fight on behalf of Ukraine in the with Russia. It reportedly was made to look official, to the point of misleadingly presenting itself as a French government-promoted campaign.

France's defense ministry has shut down the website, saying it was created by malicious actors as part of a "disinformation campaign". Ukraine's armed forces have of late been desperate for new recruits while facing devastating losses and thus face a severe manpower shortage.

"A URL for a page called 'Join Ukraine,' which used [French] government website templates, is currently being circulated online; this website is fake," a message on the site reads, according to AFP.

The fake Ukraine volunteer website "invited" 200,000 French citizens to enlist in Ukraine's national forces, and even emphasized that immigrants to France could serve. Volunteers were told to contact "unit commander Pavel" in order to gain instructions on the process of enlistment.

French authorities did not identify a culprit behind the deceptive campaign; however, a source told AFP that evidence possibly points to the Russian mercenary group Wagner being behind it.

Another government official told AFP that it bore "the hallmarks of a Russian or pro-Russian effort as part of a disinformation campaign claiming that the French army is preparing to send troops to Ukraine."

Starting last month French President Emmanuel Macron stunned even Western allies by pushing for European countries to consider sending troops to fight in Ukraine.

He had told a Paris-hosted security conference in late February that while there was yet "no consensus" on sending ground troops to Ukraine in an "official manner," it remains that "nothing was excluded." He later defended the remarks and said the West cannot allow Russia to win in Ukraine no matter what.

This new fake recruitment website episode could be part of an attempt to troll or mock Macron and call attention to his very dangerous proposal, which would be a sure path to WW3 with Russia. Germany among other powerful allies has opposed Macron's words.

Early in the war more than two years ago some Western leaders, particularly then UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, were vocally encouraging foreign volunteers to go to Ukraine. But as more and more Westerners died in battle, officials have backed off such public statements.

President Zelensky in February signed a decree opening up Ukraine's military forces to "foreigners and stateless persons" for the first time ever. The country already had a "foreign legion" but volunteers can now serve in Ukraine's National Guard, per the recent order, and may sign a contract at the private, sergeant, or officer levels depending on their qualifications.