Former French Foreign Legion soldiers on the front line in Ukraine

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The Russian invasion has caused a stir inside the French Foreign Legion which has around 700 Ukrainians in its ranks. There have been media rumours of desertions by soldiers who want to go and fight in Ukraine, and the commanding officer has gone public with an appeal for troops to honour their oath to the Legion. Mediapart has meanwhile identified several former legionnaires who are already on the front line and has spoken to one there who claims there are 'a hundred' current and former legionnaire already in Ukraine. Sébastien Bourdon reports.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th sent shockwaves through the famed French Foreign Legion, as can be seen from the social media accounts of its soldiers. On Instagram, in particular, current and ex-legionnaires have been sharing appeals for solidarity and information about collecting donations, as well as exchanging photos of the conflict. Many appear keen to go and take part in the fighting.