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2 Jun, 2024 20:39

Coffins of ‘French soldiers in Ukraine’ left by Eiffel Tower (PHOTO)

An unspecified foreign power is reportedly suspected to be behind the macabre installation
Coffins of ‘French soldiers in Ukraine’ left by Eiffel Tower (PHOTO)

Five life-size coffins draped with French flags and bearing the inscription “French soldiers in Ukraine” were found by the Eiffel Tower in Paris early on Saturday, according to local media reports. 

Three foreign nationals have been arrested in connection with the incident, AFP reported, citing police sources, while a “foreign power” is suspected to be behind the affair. One of the suspects, a Bulgarian national who drove the van carrying the coffins and the other suspects, was detained in the area shortly after the discovery was made. The driver claimed he was paid €40 ($43) to make the delivery. 

Two others, said to be Ukrainian and German nationals, managed to flee the scene, yet were apprehended while attempting to board a train heading for Germany. Police believe three other foreign nationals were involved but apparently managed to escape the country. 

Footage circulating online shows police officers inspecting the coffins lying by the side of a road. According to media reports, the caskets were effectively empty, with only some gypsum residue inside. 

The French authorities have thus far provided no official information about the incident, the motives of the suspects, or which “foreign power” is suspected to be behind it. The macabre installation is thought to be a reference to the idea of deploying French soldiers to Ukraine to prop up Kiev in its fight against Moscow, an idea that French President Emmanuel Macron has mentioned on numerous occasions over the past few months.

Macron’s comments have elicited harsh criticism from Moscow, which has warned that such a step would amount to a serious escalation and bring an all-out confrontation between Russia and the West even closer. While foreign military personnel are already active in Ukraine and “have been there for a long time,” the official deployment of NATO boots on the ground would be “another step towards a serious conflict in Europe and a global conflict,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week.