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15 Apr, 2023 15:17

French state TV pulls report after Ukrainian pressure (VIDEO)

Kiev has labeled a video of Russian troops in training by France 24 “a disgrace to journalism”
French state TV pulls report after Ukrainian pressure (VIDEO)

French state-owned news channel France 24 has removed a video report about Russian troops in training from its website, after it caused outrage among Ukrainian officials.

The clip, entitled “War in Ukraine: Russian forces preparing for battle ahead of counter-offensive,” was reportedly uploaded on france24.com on Thursday. But as of Saturday, it is no longer available, and clicking on the relevant link brings up the message “404 Page not found.”

The one-and-a-half-minute video was shot at a training range in an undisclosed location some 30 kilometers from the front line. It featured images of Russian tanks firing and tackling hurdles, as well as short interviews with the troops, who said that they were proud to protect their country and that they did not fear the expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.

One of the soldiers also praised Russian weaponry over the German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks, which were recently supplied to Ukraine by the West. “Our tanks are easier to handle, they’re lighter and much of the time they are better than Leopard tanks,” he said.

The clip did not go unnoticed in Kiev, with Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko calling the report about the Russian military “a disgrace to journalism.”

In a message on Twitter on Friday, he warned that visiting “occupied territories” without consent from Kiev was a crime under Ukrainian law, promising that “those who participate in such actions will be held accountable.” 

Ukraine’s Ambassador to France, Vadym Omelchenko said on Twitter that the report by France 24 “from the perspective of the occupiers” turned out to be “a bad example of so-called neutral journalism.” He added that the video was removed from the news network’s website.

France 24 has not issued any statement on the situation, merely deleting the video from its website. However, the clip is still available on the channel’s page on the Dailymotion platform.