Faces And Fate Of French ‘Soldats De Fortune’ In UkraineSouth Front

April 14, 2023












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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Together with military equipment, Europe is supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine with cannon fodder. France, which is famous for its Foreign Legion, is actively sending its militants to fight against Russians on the Donbass front lines.

In early August, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation counted almost 5 thousand mercenaries in Ukraine who came from the European countries. Then, since February, 2022, at least 187 soldiers of fortune came from France. In August 2022, only 49 of them left in the war-torn country. At least 75 French militants were killed, and 63 others fled home from Ukraine.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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So far, the French Foreign Ministry has officially recognized the deaths of eight French mercenaries from the “Foreign Legion” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who were killed during the battles on the Ukrainian front lines.

The death of the eighth French fighter in Ukraine was officially confirmed on April 2, 2023. The unidentified French mercenary was reportedly killed during the battle in Bakhmut.

Earlier, in March, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of another fighter in Bakhmut. According to the French media, he was Kevin D., who was claimed to be a stretch-bearer. According to open sources, the mercenary was Kevin David from Angers. He had 2 children. In September 2022, Kevin took part in the storming of Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, and was blamed for torturing civilians in the city and its surroundings.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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In February 2023, the French media reported on the death of a 22-year-old mercenary killed in the Donbass. Andreas Gallozzi who was member of the so-called International Legion of Ukraine died on February 16 after artillery shelling of a checkpoint of foreign mercenaries near Svatovo. In a conversation with Le Monde, his commander, said that Gallozzi took part in the September offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Before coming to Ukraine, Andreas served in the 17th Airborne Engineering Regiment of the French Armed Forces in Montauban in 2020-2022.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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In June, 2022, the French radio station Europe 1 reported on the first French mercenary killed in Ukraine. Later, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the reports. The deceased, 32-year-old Frenchman Wilfried Blériot, was linked to French far-right groups. He was from Bayeux but was killed in the Ukrainian Kharkiv region as a result of shelling.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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In November 2022, the death of Gaston Besson, foreign mercenary and recruiter of the Ukrainian Nazi Azov Battalion, was confirmed.

Gaston Besson served as one of the main recruiters of foreign fighters for Ukraine. His unit consisted mainly of European neo-Nazis and was subordinate to the Azov battalion. Besson had an important combat experience. In his youth, he served as the French paratroopers and special forces member. Then he became a mercenary. He proudly declared that he went through two wars and three conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Burma, Laos, Suriname. There is information that during the conflict in the Balkans, where he led a unit of 500 fighters who came from France, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Gaston became famous for atrocities against the Serbian civilian population.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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On February 7, French mercenary David D., 50 years old, with call sign Strider was killed on the Donetsk front lines. His friend from the US Rob-Roy Lane (on the right in the photo) also will not come home from Ukraine.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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David’s compatriot Adrien Henri Pierre Yves Dugay-Leyoudec was also not lucky and was killed in the battles in Ukraine.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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As well as Sébastien Landes born on December 9, 1993, from Paris. He was a former intelligence officer, who joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion and was killed near Izyum on July 4, 2022 .

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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While the deaths of the mercenaries above were confirmed officially or not, several Frenchmen are still missing on the Ukrainian front lines.

For example, Jonathan Giovanni Delporte from Tourcoing, who arrived in Ukraine on April 9. He was last contacted in October, he may be dead or escaped.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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As well as the former French servicemen Berenger Minaud from Talloires. He arrived in Ukraine at the end of March. From May 7 until June, he was fighting in Severodonetsk. In November, he was wounded in a battle, so far nothing is known about his wounds.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Jonathan Bouderlique, former French military officer born on July 6, 1991, arrived in Ukraine in April 2022. He joined the International Legion of Ukraine and was last seen in October 2022.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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A lot of mercenaries were heavily wounded but were not provided with the decent medical treatment and were not evacuated by French services from Ukraine.

For example, Maxime Bronchain, 32 years old, from Metz. The former French military with neo-Nazi views was blown up by an antipersonnel mine. He almost lost his leg. After Ukrainian medicals threatened to amputate his leg, the Frenchman appealed to his government with a demand to immediately take him away from Ukraine. He gave interviews to French journalists, explaining that there was even no morphine for anesthesia in Ukrainian hospitals. Paris reacted to Bronshen’s demands, promised to evacuate him, but told that “it would take time.”

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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More French mercenaries fled from the war-torn Ukraine, as well as thousands of militants from other countries. A lot of them were surprised by the intensity of the fighting and the impotence of the Ukrainian military to assure their security far from the front lines, as well as organise their operations and provide foreigners with necessary equipment.

Among French fighters who fled from the Ukrainian front lines, there is Juan Sanchez Da Silva born in Cavaillon, France. He has two children and Spanish citizenship, where he lives in Fernán-Núñez in Andalousie. After fighting in the Ukrainian International Legion, he escaped from the Ukrainian front lines.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Grégory Antonio Sosefo Matehau Kilam, born on January 12, 1980, from France, claims that he stayed in Ukraine for one month in April 2022 as a military instructor in training combat techniques.

Gregory Kilama is a French mercenary, military instructor. His father was a senior officer in the French army, and his sons followed his example. Gregory has diplomas of training in various schools of self-defense and martial arts, but carefully hides information about his work. Since August 2021, he has been working as “a freelance agent in the field of personal protection and security in Luxembourg”. This  is what professional mercenaries officially claim to hide their true activities.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Kevin Philippe Patrick Demont, born on July 30, 1987, from Abbeville, France, served five years in the French 13th Engineer Regiment. In March 2022, Demon came to Ukraine, wanting to “inflict violence on the Russians”, as he said. However, he did not fight for a long time, and in July he ran away. He justified himself by saying that he allegedly had to take care of his daughters, whom his ex-wife actually forbids him to see.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Another failed French “Ukrainian patriot” is Arthur Tremoulet from Toulouse, born on January 7, 1996. A professional military officer, arrived to Kiev on May 22 but on August 28, he already fled home allegedly “for the sake of his family.”

His private information is available online:

  • Mobile phone +33646178749
  • Phone +33563339999
  • Address: 5 rue Louis Vicat 81000 Albi, France.
Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Tremoulet reportedly came to Ukraine to replace his compatriot Еrnesto Вarbieri, commander of a reconnaissance unit of former French legionnaires, who also left Ukraine in a hurry.

Barbieri, 25 years old, from Courchevel, came to the front lines to gain some popularity on the social media. Like other “TikTok fighters”, Ernesto promised to “fight to the end for the freedom of Ukraine,” but in May, he escaped from the war zone.

Ernesto declared that he served in the 27th mountain infantry brigade of the French Armed Forces in the elite unit “Alpine Riflemen”. He claims that he then joined the “French Foreign Legion”, in which he fought in Afghanistan and Mali. However, the leadership of the French Legion accused Ernesto of using their name for personal purposes, saying that the Frenchman had not even completed a four-month training course. According to open sources, Ernesto participated in the battles in the Kiev and Kharkiv regions last spring as a sniper.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Franck-Olivier Jutier, born June 8, 1970, failed to enter the French Army, attempted to take part in military operations in Ukraine. Already in March, the failed military arrived in Ukraine, where he was engaged in the selection of Nazi mercenaries in the Georgian National Legion. However, in May, Jutier escaped back to France.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Mathieu Dos Santos from Voiron, born on July 3, 1987, was another professional servicemen scared by the Ukrainian war. A former soldier from the elite marine special forces came to Ukraine to bring the alleged humanitarian aid for civilians. However, the head of the association Element de vie revealed that the cargo was delivered to the Ukrainian army.

After Mathieu travelled to the village of Moshun in the Kiev region and saw the destructions there, he decided to flee from the war-torn country and preferred to take part in the French talk shows but not in the battles.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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His compatriot Florent Coury, from Paris, born on June 23, 1982, also escaped from Ukraine after month of hostilities. Being a top manager of Renault company in BeNeLux countries, he signed up for a month as a mercenary in the Ukrainian foreign legion. He was assigned to meet new recruits and conduct interviews.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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While dozens of French mercenaries were killed or wounded and dozens more escaped from Ukraine, there are still “soldiers of fortune”, who were identified and are likely still fighting together with Ukrainian nazis.

For example, Loïc Maillard who was born on August 5, 1998, in Montpellier, became another famous French TikTok fighter in Ukraine. He is a former servicemen and arrived in Ukraine in mid—April 2022, where he joined the Nazi battalion “Carpathian Sich”, the British III unit. In early September, he participated in the Ukrainian offensive in the Kharkiv region and is still fighting on the Ukrainian front lines. According to the social media, he is rarely seen on the front lines and was recently wounded in his leg.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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French mercenary, living in Belgium, Maxime Barrat, born in 1989, is also fighting for the Kiev regime. He was convicted in France for abusing his ex-girlfriend. In 2015, he fought with the Kurdish armed formation in Syria and Iraq. He used the Kurdish pseudonym Gelhat Azadî. After returning from the Middle East in 2018, he lived in Belgium, where he reportedly established links with intelligence agencies.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Charlie Logereau from the Seine-et-Marne department, born in 1994, is another former soldier of the French Navy fighting in Ukraine, who turned out to be an admirer of Nazism and has a patch of the SS division “Galicia” on the right hand. He arrived in Ukraine at the beginning of the summer of 2022. According to some sources, he had no military experience and was accepted to the ranks of the AFU because to the heavy Ukrainian losses on the battlefield.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Former soldier of the French Legion, Andre Leonardo Rueda from Toulouse, is also fighting as part of the foreign Legion of Ukraine.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Vivi Valance from Chambery, is another Nazi from France who is fighting in Ukraine. He took photos with Berenger Minaud, who is still missing.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Another friend of Vivi is neo-Nazi Guillaume Andreoni from Marseille.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Sef Mekatoa from Sainte-Alvère arrived to Ukraine in April. He declared himself as a combat medic, but clearly fights with a weapon in his hands and poses with it.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Another French mercenary is Tony Paradis from Tourcoing.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Felipe Eduardo from Paris is also a young former French serviceman who is fighting on the Ukrainian front lines.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Olexandr Mitin is a lucky Ukrainian who moved from the Dnepropetrovsk region to France in 2016, where he served in the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment of the French Foreign Legion. In 2022, he returned to Ukraine as a mercenary. Foreign legionnaires enjoy more privileges and are much better paid than usual Ukrainian servicemen.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Fred Rider, with call sign Wotan, from Bordeaux, is a French ex-military and inspired neo-Nazi, still fighting in Ukraine.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Karel Cherel Salzbourg is a 27 years old extreme right-wing activist from the Brittany region in France. He has a criminal record in France. He was arrested by French police in 2019 for a group attack on antifa in Nantes. In an interview given to LCI, he claimed that he was in the Donbass in 2014 but this claim was not confirmed.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Gwenole Le Moal from Trelivan served in the Foreign Legion as an NCO Assistant in a combat section of the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment of the Land Army. He is reportedly ferrying soldiers from Poland to the frontlines.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Mickael De Prat from Saint-Coulomb is another former colonel of the French Legion (without confirmation).

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Jordan Sam from France is serving in the notorious Sheikh Mansour Battalion.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Damien Magrou is Norwegian mercenary of French origin. He studied in London, Bergen and St. Petersburg and became lawyer. He speaks English, Russian, German, French and Norwegian. Thank to his education, he became spokesman for the Foreign Legion of Ukraine and does not take part in hostilities.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Hugo Havard, 25 years old, is an illustrative example of a fighter for the European ‘democracy’ in Ukraine. The Breton mercenary is openly gay, anti-fascist, eco- and animal rights activist. In June 2022, he joined the “International Legion”.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Ugo Francesco Lucas Pellegrini failed to become mercenary, but he is actively engaged in recruiting new members to the Ukrainian foreign legion via Facebook. He served in the 31st Engineer Regiment in the south of France for less than six months.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Mainly French mercenaries, as well as militants from other European countries, are young Nazis with military experience. Since dozens of them have been easily identified, they are proudly sharing their information on the social media and are more interested in taking photos and flirting with Ukrainian girls, a lot of them are using the dating apps. They are not careful in using online services and have already leaked some strategically important information. For example, officers of the French special forces, who were probably assigned for training Ukrainian servicemen, shared their location in Instagram in the village of Mala Lyubasha in the Rivne region. In their turn, the Russian military is carefully watching the training process and the assesses the quantity of foreign military equipment sent to the training ground there.

Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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Faces And Fate Of French 'Soldats De Fortune' In Ukraine

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It was also confirmed that the French PMCs Chiron Solutions was present in Ukraine with the allegedly ‘humanitarian mission’ to evacuate civilians. However, there is no confirmation of any of their successful operations in Ukraine.

Dozens of French poseurs fled from the war-torn country without taking any active part in hostilities. However, in France they become famous as “brave fighters for the independence of Ukraine”, they write books and they are always welcomed in TV shows.

While the French President calls for stopping the Ukrainian conflict and laying the pillars of a real strategic independence of Europe, goes to Beijing and tries on the image of Charles de Gaulle, including through anti-globalist rhetoric, trying to earn political points in France, whose country continues to sink from one social crisis to another, the citizens of his country continue to fight on the Ukrainian fronts, proudly declaring their Nazi views.

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