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The head of French military intelligence leaves his post, for lack of having sufficiently alerted to the risk of war in Ukraine

  General Eric Vidaud, during the special operations forces innovation network seminar, in Martignas-sur-Jalle (Gironde), July 1, 2021.

After only seven months in his post, the head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM), General Eric Vidaud, will leave his post, following in particular what was judged to be an insufficiency of his services on the Russian invasion in Ukraine, learned Agence France-Presse (AFP) from military sources close to the case.

A military source confirmed the immediate departure of the head of military intelligence, according to information from the site opinion. The latter cites an internal source at the Ministry of the Armed Forces evoking “insufficient briefings” and one “lack of subject knowledge”.

According to the military source contacted by AFP, the DRM had been in the sights of the general staff of the armies since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But she “does military intelligence about operations, not intentionality”, clears this source. The service’s productions concluded that Russia had the means to invade Ukraine. “What happened proves him right”she also argued.

“This change cannot be reduced to the Ukrainian situation alone. It is also a question of reorganizing the service “underlined for his part a source close to the file.

“The Americans were right”

General Vidaud was appointed to this post last summer, from the Special Operations Command (COS). But his appointment had been the result of games of musical chairs that had made noise within the military community.

At the beginning of March, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Thierry Burkhard, had admitted in The world differences of analysis between French and Americans on the question of a possible invasion of Ukraine.

“The Americans said the Russians were going to attack, they were right. Our services rather thought that the conquest of Ukraine would have a monstrous cost and that the Russians had other options” to bring down President Volodymyr Zelensky, he admitted.

In fact, the Americans obtained very high quality intelligence on Russian preparations and had decided, several weeks before the invasion, to publish part of it in an attempt, in particular, to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“US intelligence beat the bar and used intelligence as leverage. This marks the return of intelligence as a lever of political communication”explained in this regard to AFP Alexandre Papaemmanuel, professor at the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) in Paris and specialist in intelligence.

The World with AFP

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