Ukraine’s Syrskyi Says France To Send Instructors To Train Ukrainian Troops

Syrskyi said he signed the paperwork to allow the first French instructors to visit Ukrainian training centers

On Monday, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said France was planning to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops, a step that would mark a significant escalation of NATO involvement in the proxy war.

“I am pleased to welcome France’s initiative to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian servicemen,” Syrskyi wrote on Telegram after speaking with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, according to Reuters.

“I have already signed the documents that will enable the first French instructors to visit our training centers shortly and familiarize themselves with their infrastructure and personnel,” he added.

When asked about Syrskyi’s comments, the French Defense Ministry acknowledged that the issue of sending troops to Ukraine for training was being discussed but gave no indication on whether a deployment was imminent.

“As already mentioned several times, training on Ukrainian soil is one of the projects discussed since the conference on support for Ukraine convened by the President of the Republic on February 26,” the French Defense Ministry said. “Like all the projects discussed at that time, this track continues to be the subject of work with the Ukrainians, in particular to understand their exact needs.”

For months, French President Emmanuel Macron has entertained the possibility of deploying troops to Ukraine, and other NATO members have expressed support for the idea of a training mission, including Estonia and Lithuania, despite the risk of provoking a direct NATO-Russia war.

The New York Times recently reported that Ukraine had asked NATO to deploy troops to its territory to train 150,000 fresh recruits that it’s hoping to mobilize. The report said NATO countries were “inching closer” to obliging the request.

All the talk about the potential deployment has highlighted the fact that there is already a small, unofficial presence of NATO special operations forces inside Ukraine. However, what is being discussed now would likely be a much larger official deployment, and any NATO troops would be at risk of being targeted by Russia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.