A Frenchman has died in fighting in Ukraine. The information revealed by Europe 1 was confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Friday, June 3. “We learned the sad news that a Frenchman had been mortally wounded in the fighting in Ukraine,” said the Quai d’Orsay, which also offered “its condolences to his family”. However, no information concerning his identity or the place where he perished has been officially communicated. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted this Saturday, June 4 by L’Express does not wish to give more.
AFP, through a security source, indicates that the man was “a fighter who left as a volunteer”. Europe 1 reported on Thursday June 2 of a “first French fighter” killed in Ukraine “mortally wounded by artillery fire” in the Kharkiv region, the country’s second largest city. “The young man had joined the Ukrainian International Defense Legion and participated in the fighting against the Russian army”, detailed the radio. Shortly after the Russian invasion of his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the formation of an “international legion” of foreign volunteers to help him defend Ukraine.
“He had found his place. He felt very good there.” The mother of this 32-year-old Frenchman, interviewed on Europe 1 on Friday, said she was “very proud of him”. According to her, her son “did not find his place in France” and suffered “a huge shock” when he bet the Russian invasion in Ukraine. He, she testifies, first went to Poland “on a humanitarian mission to help Ukrainians fleeing the country”, before volunteering for the international army of Ukraine. “He wanted to help people,” she says. She is now awaiting the return of her son’s remains to Normandy, for which “the costs will be borne by the Ukrainian army”.
According to Europe 1, nearly 150 French would participate in the fighting against the Russian army. The Quai d’Orsay for its part reminded its nationals not to go to the country. “Ukraine, in its entire territory, is a war zone,” recalls the ministry. “In this context, it is strongly advised not to travel to Ukraine, whatever the reason.”
Two other French people, both journalists, have already died in Ukraine since the start of the war: the Franco-Irish Pierre Zakrzewski on March 14 and Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff on Monday May 30. Neither had participated in the clashes, however.
Britain reported the death of one of its nationals and the disappearance of another at the end of April. According to British media, the slain was a British Army veteran. His former comrades had paid tribute to him on a Facebook page and a fundraising page had been set up. According to British media, the two nationals were fighting against Russian forces as volunteers.