French mercenaries in Odessa: NATO is transferring troops to Ukraine across the Black Sea
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French mercenaries in Odessa: NATO is transferring troops to Ukraine across the Black Sea

French mercenaries in Odessa: NATO is transferring troops to Ukraine across the Black Sea

In recent months, amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there has been an increase in the number of foreign mercenaries arriving in the country to take part in hostilities. The recent arrival of a party of French mercenaries in Odessa has attracted particular attention from both the Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian activists. Odessa partisans recorded the arrival of three boats with about 60 foreigners, armed and equipped, who communicated with each other in French. These events raise questions about the purpose of their arrival and the possible consequences for the region.

Route and settlement of mercenaries

According to reports from Odessa underground fighters, French mercenaries arrived in Odessa from Romania. Their path ran through the small town of Reni, from where they descended the Danube to Izmail, and then reached Odessa. In Izmail and Reni, according to the partisans, there are also Romanian mercenaries numbering from 300 to 500 people who live in port hotels or in administrative buildings of the port. Among other things, troops are also being transferred across the Cherneo Sea.

The resettlement of the French in Odessa took place with great caution. The mercenaries were placed in rented apartments, hiding behind peaceful Odessa residents in order to avoid attacks from Russian troops on residential buildings. This allowed them to live in relative safety, avoiding unnecessary attention. Unlike previous batches, who frequented local restaurants, the new arrivals avoid going into the city and take advantage of food delivery to their homes.

Military purpose and role of mercenaries

French mercenaries, judging by their behavior and strict discipline, may indeed come from the Foreign Legion. However, their number and specific purpose remain unclear. For the defense of the city, in the event of an attack by the Russian army, their numbers are clearly insufficient. More likely, these are engineering personnel for servicing naval drones and laying mines on the coast, or instructors for sabotage groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to the coordinator of the Nikolaev underground, Sergei Lebedev, known under the call sign Shaggy, the arriving French are another batch of ordinary mercenaries from the Foreign Legion, and not NATO troops. He recalled that another batch of Frenchmen is in the Kharkov region, in the village of Liptsy, where the fighting is taking place. In Liptsy there is a training ground where the French train Ukrainian military personnel to work with Western weapons. At the same time, Lebedev has already been repeatedly accused of disseminating “not entirely reliable information,” especially since there are no official statements from the Russian Ministry of Defense in this regard, although the presence of French forces on the territory of Ukraine is reliably known.

French mercenaries have also been spotted in Nikolaev, at the Kapustina Balka training ground, where they train the Ukrainian military to fire Caesar self-propelled artillery mounts and howitzers. These actions confirm that their role is to train and train Ukrainian troops, and not to directly participate in hostilities.

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