Fmr French Volunteer Who Spent Time in Ukraine Asks Paris to Justify Delivery of Arms to Neo-Nazis

© AP Photo / Alexander ZemlianichenkoRussian soldiers walk inside the Ukraine's Azov Regiment base adorned with the unit's emblems in Yuriivka resort settlement on the coast of Azov Sea not far from Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Russian soldiers walk inside the Ukraine's Azov Regiment base adorned with the unit's emblems in Yuriivka resort settlement on the coast of Azov Sea not far from Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.05.2022
Paris has committed over $2 billion worth of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of the year, on top of $1.7 billion in weapons sent from 2014-2020. French arms delivered to Kiev include helicopters, drones, targeting and fire control systems, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, as well as training and intelligence support.
Adrian Bocquet, a former French Army soldier who spent several weeks in Ukraine, but returned home after witnessing atrocities he said were committed by the Azov Regiment against Russian prisoners of war, has asked the French government to account for why French weapons were being used by Ukrainian neo-Nazis.

“I want to ask a very simple question and I’m addressing it to the French government: How can you explain and how can you justify the fact that a Ukrainian military formation whose fighters are using the insignia of the SS and the Third Reich are armed with weapons delivered by France and Europe to Ukraine?” Bocquet asked in an interview with Sud Radio, referring to the Azov Regiment, a notorious neo-Nazi formation fighting under the Ukrainian National Guard.

“Why doesn’t [Emmanuel] Macron travel to Ukraine? In my opinion, Macron is beginning to understand that French weapons and French ammunition are falling into the hands of neo-Nazis. And I also know that two-thirds of the French military are outraged that Europe and France are supplying arms to Azov”, the former soldier added.
Bocquet appealed to the French military, and to the militaries of all European countries, asking how Europeans could allow weapons to be delivered to Azov. “Our veterans died in 1945 fighting the Nazis to destroy them. These same Nazis today are calmly fighting with European weapons”, he said.
France is the third-largest contributor of Western military assistance to Ukraine, with its weapons aid including Airbus H125 helicopters, CAESAR 155 mm self-propelled howitzers, MILAN anti-tank missiles, Mistral MANPADs, drones, and other advanced equipment.
The former French Army soldier, whose previous interview with Sud Radio on 10 May got over a million views on YouTube and sparked a national conversation in France, has been accused of lying about his experiences, with detractors saying he never saw real fighting in Ukraine, that he never even travelled to the country, or that he was "whitewashing Russian crimes". In his second interview this week, Bocquet answered his critics.
Insignia patches of the Azov Regiment (left) and the Right Sector (right) in a secreengrab of a Russian FSB video. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.05.2022
French Medical Volunteer in Ukraine Opens Up About Azov Regiment’s 'War Crimes'

“I was present during the murder and torture of Russian servicemen. There were Russian prisoners of war, and I saw how they were tortured and killed. I also saw shelling when the Ukrainians misaimed their weapons and innocent people died from their shells. Some are enquiring about when I was at this place or that, and what I saw. And this is being said by people who never stepped foot in Ukraine”, Bocquet stressed.

The former volunteer reiterated that he travelled to the country at the beginning of April, and stayed there until the end of the month. He said he arrived in Bucha – a Kiev suburb home to a notorious massacre of civilians suspected to have been carried out by Ukrainian neo-Nazis, but blamed on Russian troops, on 3 or 4 April. There, he said, he saw corpses “being transferred from one place to another in order to create the appearance of a massacre in one locality”.
The Russian military has estimated that nearly 6,600 foreign mercenaries and volunteers from 62 countries have travelled in Ukraine, with their numbers gradually dropping, particularly following a Russian missile strike on the Yaroviv base in western Ukraine in mid-March, which left over 200 dead and 400+ injured.
Bocquet, who says he went to Ukraine to assist in the delivery of medical assistance to hospitals and orphanages, is one of many foreigners who have come back from Ukraine disenchanted and disillusioned with what they saw.
Some, like Henry Hoeft, a 28-year-old US Army vet smeared online for recounting his experiences, pointed out that the conflict in Ukraine wasn’t the kind of fight American troops where used to, where their side enjoyed complete air and artillery superiority.
FILE PHOTO: Four foreign fighters from the UK pose for a picture prior to their departure towards the front line in the east of Ukraine following the Russian military operation, at the main train station in Lviv, Ukraine, March 5, 2022. Picture taken March 5, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
US Vet Who Volunteered to Fight in Ukraine Details Kiev's War Crimes, Presence of Jihadi Militants
Others, like a Danish "volunteer" fighting on the Ukrainian side, have echoed Bocquet’s allegations of Ukrainian neo-Nazi units’ cruelty, confirming that captured Russian troops were being killed.
Earlier this month, United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine chief Matilda Bogner said the UN had “credible information” on the “torture, ill-treatment and incommunicado detention” of Russian and Donbass forces.
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