Kremlin: France Ready for Direct Involvement in Ukraine Conflict

Macron announced last night that France will send Mirage fighter jets to Ukraine, and that the French army will train Ukrainian pilots

by Sededin Dedovic
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Kremlin: France Ready for Direct Involvement in Ukraine Conflict
© MSNBC / Youtube channel

Statements by French President Emmanuel Macron about strengthening military support for Ukraine show that France is "ready to directly participate in the conflict," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, reported AFP.

He stated that it could be said that "Macron is showing absolute support for the Ukrainian regime" and is declaring that France is "ready to directly participate in the military conflict." Macron announced last night that France will send Mirage fighter jets to Ukraine, and that the French military will train Ukrainian pilots.

He reiterated that Ukraine should be allowed to use the weapons provided by its Western allies to target Russian military objectives. Ukraine will receive multi-role Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from France as a new resource for conducting cruise missile strikes on Russian infrastructure in the rear, reported the Balkan Security Network portal today.

Yesterday, during a meeting in Paris with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that Ukrainian pilots would fly the donated French planes. For the Ukrainian air force, this is an important issue due to the replacement of the front-line Su-24 bombers, which are used as platforms for launching Storm Shadow and SCALP EG cruise missiles donated by the British and the French, respectively.

Macron promised Zelensky Mirage 2000-5 variant aircraft, primarily designed for fighter missions, armed with MICA air-to-air missiles with a range of up to 80 kilometers. In the initial phase of flight, these missiles are guided by an inertial navigation system with corrections from the aircraft's link, and in the final phase, the MICA RF subvariant switches to radar self-guidance, while the MICA IR subvariant switches to infrared self-guidance.

The resources of Ukrainian Sukhoi aircraft, made during the Soviet era, are depleting, and spare parts are lacking, so the delivery of Mirage 2000-5 provides a new resource for long-range strikes on Russian infrastructure in the rear.

It is not yet known how many aircraft Ukraine will receive, but the requirements for training and maintenance impose a minimum quantity of a squadron of 12 to 14 units. The French air force has 26 Mirage 2000-5s in two squadrons, which are planned to be rearmed with the modern multi-role fighter jet Rafale.

Rumors about preparations for the donation of Mirage 2000-5 are not new, as Le Figaro reported in March last year that about thirty Ukrainian technicians were being trained for the Mirage 2000, but official sources denied this.

Since last fall, Ukrainian pilots have been training in France on Alpha Jet training jets, allegedly as preparation for transitioning to the F-16, which has so far been the main topic in NATO allies' plans for modernizing the Ukrainian air force.

The media have been reporting daily on the F-16 program as part of a joint support package from several NATO countries, while in the meantime, the French donation was "quietly" prepared, which became known for political and propaganda reasons on the 80th anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy.

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