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18 Jan, 2024 22:00

Strikes on mercenaries in Ukraine ‘painful for the West’ – Finnish editor

Russia killed 60 foreign fighters in a missile attack on Kharkov, the Russian Defense Ministry has said
Strikes on mercenaries in Ukraine ‘painful for the West’ – Finnish editor

Russia’s elimination of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine hurts the West because it demonstrates how Moscow can inflict “huge losses” with single precision strikes, Finnish news editor Janus Putkonen has told RT.

The Russian military said that it targeted a “temporary assembly point of foreign fighters” in Kharkov on Tuesday, killing 60 foreign fighters and injuring more than 20 others, the majority of whom were “French mercenaries.”

The French foreign ministry on Thursday denied the presence of any French mercenaries in Ukraine, although a pro-Russian resistance group in Kharkov told RIA Novosti that French-speaking personnel were present at the targeted building, and that some foreigners there had been “supervising” the RDK, a Ukrainian paramilitary unit associated with the country’s military intelligence agency.

“These kinds of strikes are painful for Western countries for sure, for many reasons,” Putkonen told RT. “[Western countries] are losing the information battle, because these mercenaries are at the forefront in Western propaganda for the war, and losing lots of them at the same time – hundreds of them in just a matter of days – is a major blow.”

Tuesday’s strike is a microcosm of “the whole situation that is going on in Ukraine,” Putkonen continued. There are “huge losses” on the Ukrainian side, he explained, adding that while foreign soldiers can fight, they “cannot defend against precision strikes.”

“Russia is calling the shots,” Putkonen concluded. 

Hours before the strike, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that his country could not allow Russia to win the conflict in Ukraine, and pledged further arms shipments to Kiev, including 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles. According to French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, the weapons are to be transferred in the first half of this year.

More than 5,900 out of over 13,500 foreign mercenaries who came to Ukraine since February 2022 have since been killed, according to figures released by the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier this month. Another 5,600 have deserted and left the country, the ministry claimed.




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