France has been ignoring the recruitment of its nationals to fight in the conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said
The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned French Ambassador Pierre Levy in the aftermath of a deadly missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Kharkov that killed more than 60 foreign mercenaries, predominantly French nationals.
Moscow has summoned the French envoy to raise concerns over Paris’ “growing involvement” in the conflict.
Russian officials told the envoy that the French government is to blame for the mass casualties, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.
France has long turned a blind eye to the work of recruitment agencies in the country, which hire mercenaries to fight on the Ukrainian side in the conflict, she claimed.
“Waging the ‘proxy war’ by the West, including France, the steady growth in weapons and military hardware supply to the Zelensky regime contradict statements about the importance of establishing peace, escalate hostilities, lead to numerous civilian casualties, and turn it into an accomplice to the war crimes of the Kiev government,” Zakharova stated.
The mass casualties on mercenaries were inflicted on Tuesday evening when the Russian military targeted a “temporary assembly point of foreign fighters.” The strike killed over 60 foreign fighters and injured more than 20 others, with the majority of them said to be “French mercenaries.”
The Russian military’s account of the events has been disputed by the Ukrainian side, which made multiple conflicting statements on the incident. Regional police claimed the destroyed site was a residential building, while local authorities insisted it actually was an abandoned hospital.
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