France has refuted Russia’s recent claim that it targeted French “mercenaries” in a bombing raid on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The French Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegation, asserting that France neither employs nor harbours mercenaries in Ukraine or any other location.
Responding to Moscow’s statement, the French Foreign Ministry, in a communication with AFP, characterized the claim as “another clumsy Russian manipulation.”
The statement comes on the heels of Moscow’s defence ministry announcement on Wednesday, asserting that a strike on January 16 had specifically targeted “foreign militants” in Kharkiv, with a significant portion allegedly being French mercenaries.
Despite the lack of evidence provided by the Russian defence ministry, it claimed to have killed multiple foreign militants and caused numerous injuries.
The strike on Tuesday severely damaged a multi-story building in central Kharkiv, resulting in debris scattered across the streets below.
Local authorities reported 17 civilians wounded, and Kharkiv region governor Oleg Synegubov emphasized that there were no military targets in the vicinity.
“While the Russian defence ministry is claiming it killed ‘French mercenaries,’ they actually hit residential, energy facilities, and medical facilities,” stated the observer group All Eyes on Wagner on social media.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has been subjected to persistent shelling since Russia initiated large-scale hostilities in February 2022.
The recent incident has escalated tensions between Russia and France, with the latter vehemently denying any involvement of its citizens in mercenary activities in Ukraine.
The French Foreign Ministry’s rejection of the claim underscores the ongoing information warfare between Russia and Western nations.
Accusations and counter-accusations have become commonplace as the conflict in Ukraine continues to unfold, with both sides vying to shape the narrative.
The international community has called for an independent investigation into the incident, urging transparency to ascertain the facts surrounding the alleged targeting of French nationals in Kharkiv.
The European Union, in a statement, expressed deep concern over the situation and emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
As diplomatic tensions rise, the incident highlights the challenges journalists and international observers face in verifying information in conflict zones.
The fog of war often obscures the truth, making it imperative for unbiased investigations to uncover the reality behind such claims and counter-claims.
The situation remains fluid, with the global community closely monitoring developments in Kharkiv and the wider Ukrainian conflict.
The allegations and denials between Russia and France add another layer of complexity to an already volatile geopolitical landscape, underscoring the urgency for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and find a lasting resolution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members
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