France has sent an elite police unit to Kyiv to bolster the safety of its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, a security source told AFP on Friday.
The team of eight, deployed since Wednesday at the embassy, is part of the GIGN, the French gendarmerie’s elite tactical police force, the source said.
They join the embassy’s five permanent GIGN staff whose brief is to protect the embassy and its personnel against any threat.
According to the Ukrainian army, Russian forces have been closing in on Kyiv from the north-east and east, with explosions heard in the city center early Friday.
The deployment comes as France has begun to express concern about the safety of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said Friday he would stay put despite being the “number one target” for the advancing Russians.
“We are ready to help him if necessary,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio Friday.
But he declined to say whether such help could extend to an exfiltration of the president from Ukraine.
‘This is total war’: France says Putin wants to remove Ukraine ‘off map of nations’French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to destroy Ukraine’s statehood and warned that ... World News
France says Putin needs to understand NATO has nuclear weaponsFrance's foreign minister said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, when making threats about using nuclear weapons, needs to understand that NATO, ... World News
France to step up help for Ukraine in ‘all forms:’ GovernmentFrance on Thursday pledged to reinforce its support to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said after a government crisis meeting chaired by ... World News
France condemns Russia’s decision to ‘wage war on Ukraine’: MacronFrench President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday strongly condemned Russia’s military action against Ukraine, vowing Paris would work with allies to end ... World News