Report: France May Soon Announce It’s Sending Troops To Ukraine for Training

Sources tell Reuters that France is planning to initially send several hundred trainers, who could be targeted by Russia

France could soon send troops to Ukraine to train Ukrainian soldiers and is expected to announce the plan next week despite the risk of provoking Russia, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Diplomatic sources told Reuters that the plan is to send a few dozen trainers at first to assess the mission, and then several hundred French troops will be sent. The training would be focused on demining, maintenance of weapons systems, and advising on Western-provided warplanes.

The sources also said France will finance and train a Ukrainian motorized brigade. “The arrangements are very advanced, and we could expect something next week,” one of the sources said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit France next week on June 6 during the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D-Day. The following day, Zelensky and Macron will hold talks on the potential training, and an announcement could come after that.

The report comes after Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said that France planned to send trainers to Ukraine and that he signed documents paving the way for the deployment. Ukraine later put out a “clarification” that the issue was still being discussed, but Paris has not denied the plan.

For months, Macron has been discussing the idea of sending troops to Ukraine despite the obvious risk of provoking a direct clash between NATO and Russia, which could quickly turn nuclear. Other NATO countries, including Lithuania and Estonia, have said they would support a training mission in Ukraine.

All the talk about sending troops has highlighted the fact that there has been a small, unofficial presence of NATO special operations soldiers inside Ukraine (97 as of March 2023). However, a sizeable official deployment would mark a huge escalation of NATO involvement in the war and would make the French troops potential targets for Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned that French troops would be targeted if they “appear in the conflict zone.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

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