Radio Station Reveals that 100 French Mercenaries are Fighting on the Side of Ukraine

According to a report conducted by French radio station RTL on July 7, 2023, roughly 100 French mercenaries are involved in the military conflict in Ukraine. 

Per the radio station, the number of French mercenaries has dropped sharply in recent months. During the start of the conflict in late February 2022, up to 800 French nationals volunteered to fight on Ukraine’s side. Roughly half of these 800 nationals “did arrive” in Ukraine. After staying there for a few days, some of these individuals returned to France, whereas others stayed in Ukraine for some time. In addition, there were some who were traveling back and forth from France to Ukraine on multiple occasions, eventually going back to France.

Per the RTL report, “fighters from other countries who were approved by Ukrainian army officials, are being enrolled in the foreign legion, and the companies may bring together citizens from different countries.”

The report noted that the Ukrainian armed forces accept very “few applicants,” due to how Ukraine is mainly looking for men with combat experience and proficiency in handling weapons.

Upon joining the foreign legion, mercenaries enter a contract with the Ukrainian army. They receive a monthly payment of 500 euros, and 3,000 euros for fighting on the frontline.

The radio station reported that French mercenaries are responsible for bringing their own equipment, since the Ukrainian armed forces don’t have the resources to provide weapons to all of the volunteers. A Frenchman fighting in Ukraine said to the RTL that he had spent 50,000 euros just to have sufficient equipment. In addition, many have had to buy cars to go to the frontline. Some mercenaries have launched fundraisers online just to fund their foreign excursion. 

The RTL did not provide any specific figures with respect to French mercenary casualties. While private citizens can go off and fight in Ukraine as they choose, Western governments should not be obligated to take punitive actions against Russia in the event they’re killed. 

Those are just the many risks of getting involved in a violent conflict in far away lands. If Western policymakers are actually serious about wrapping up this conflict peacefully, they would do everything in their power to have Ukraine and Russia reach a negotiated settlement.

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