Ukraine Has Requested NATO Military Instructors On Its Soil, Macron Says

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 07, 2024 - 01:00 AM

French President Emmanuel Macron used the occasion of D-Day memorial events in France on Thursday to make some big announcements on Ukraine. This after President Biden focused much of his speech on 'defeating Russia' - as opposed to remembrance of WWII and those who perished on the beaches of Normandy.

For the first time Macron said that there's been a specific request from the Zelensky government to send French troops to Ukrainian soil in order to train forces there, amid a growing manpower shortage and severe lag in adequate training.

"There is a challenge in capacity. That is why the Ukrainian president and his minister of defence asked all the allies -- 48 hours ago in an official letter -- saying 'we need you to train us quicker and that you do this on our soil'," Macron said in a live interview on French television, translated by AFP.

Via AP

While stopping short of committing to sending troops (given there's been no consensus reached by NATO allies yet), Macron did indicate the French military will equip and train an entire brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers - but crucially this training is being conducted outside Ukraine.

Macron also announced readiness to transfer Mirage-2000 fighter jets to Ukraine, and to train their pilots on the aircraft, while not specifying the number of jets to be sent.

"Tomorrow we will launch a new cooperation and announce the transfer of Mirage 2000-5," Macron indicated in the interview, referencing the fighter made by French manufacturer Dassault.

The pilot training program will kick off this summer, and the details will reportedly be hashed out when Macron meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday.

"You need normally between five-six months. So by the end of the year there will be pilots. The pilots will be trained in France," he continued.

As for sending Western troops directly into Ukraine, Macron cautioned, "We are working with our partners and we will act on the basis of a collective decision."

But at this point in the conflict this is a losing proposition and the West knows it, even if officials don't admit it openly. There's huge risk and only downside. President Putin and top Kremlin officials have repeatedly vowed they will attack any foreign troops found on Ukraine soil.

Journalist and national security commentator Andrew Cockburn summed up the situation as follows: "As Russian forces steadily advance in the Kharkiv region, it is becoming ever more clear that the Ukraine war has been a disaster for the U.S. defense machine, and not just because our aid has failed to save Ukraine from retreat and possible defeat. More importantly, the war has pitilessly exposed our defense system’s deep, underlying, faults."