Two prominent French experts talk about the mysteries of the war in Ukraine


The newspaper “Le Figaro” (Le Figaro) The French published the book “The Secrets of the War in Ukraine” by Michel Goya and Jean Lopez, to provide exclusive excerpts from it about the Russian war on Ukraine, which has been setting fire to Europe for 15 months, and in response to dozens of questions such as what happened? Was the fate of those who ignited this war to drown in its quagmire? And is there a possibility that the fire will spread to everyone? What is the real situation of the forces at the front? Does Ukraine have a way to victory? And other questions.

The two authors are first Michel Goya, a former colonel in the Navy and writer of prominent historical articles, and he is one of the best contemporary military experts, providing analyzes in specialized magazines and on news channels, and secondly the director of the periodical “Guerres et Histoire” (Guerres et Histoire) Jean Lopez, a specialist In Russian and Soviet military history.

A few months after the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, according to Jean-Christophe Buisson, who summarized the dialogue for the magazine, the two writers began exchanging views, ideas, and questions about the unprecedented conflict that struck Europe, to answer each other to all the questions he asked him frankly and accurately, always being careful. to contextualize all of their observations.

These responses have been compiled into a book that is today an incredibly clear and necessary assessment of a year of war that claimed tens of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian lives.

Western blindness

The authors started from what they called Western blindness that prevented Europeans from seeing the war before it happened, despite the United States announcing unusual movements of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border months before the war, and despite the arrival of Russian units to Belarus with the aim of conducting joint “military exercises”, in a classic tactic of Deception, and they asked: Did Ukraine and Western intelligence fall for the Russian trick, as happened to many observers?

Jean Lopez warned that neither he nor anyone else, a month before the war, thought it would happen for a simple reason, “because I was thinking above all about the contradiction between the enormous cost of this war for Russia and the hoped-for gains, which is evident to everyone, it seems, except for the president.” Russia to Vladimir Putin.

For his part, Michel Goya believed that the world after 1990 entered a period in which wars between countries, with the exception of Africa, became the monopoly of the United States, as a dominant military power with freedom of action at the international level, waging punitive wars on countries it calls “rogue” states.

Russian vandals in Kyiv

Jean Lopez asked: Did the Russians try to eliminate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the beginning of their offensive? Michel Goya explains many of the rumors circulating on this subject, including that he was assigned to the Wagner Company or to the Chechen battalion that was in the ranks of the 35th Army, and is responsible for the assassination of Ukrainian leaders, or perhaps the task was left to “Russian saboteurs” from the intelligence services. The army who had been infiltrating the capital for a year, or perhaps the special forces of the 45th Brigade.

The matter, according to Goya, was not only about excluding Zelensky, given the importance of this, but rather about cutting off the head of the Ukrainian executive authority as soon as possible, a task that was supposed to take place almost simultaneously with the entry of Russian forces into the capital, and despite the failure of the plan, Ukrainian officials remained They talk about several attempts on the president’s life in February and March.

Goya stated that the Soviet army’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 began with the assassination of the Afghan president in his palace by an elite unit, and in Ukraine Russian agents sometimes settled with their families so as not to arouse suspicion legally in major cities, such as Kiev and Kharkiv, several months before the start of the war, which made He indicates that the invasion was planned for a long time, and their task was to provide information and, if necessary, to carry out specific actions. The Ukrainians called them “saboteurs” and made a great effort to chase them.

Real heroes and fake superheroes

The book pointed to the difficulty of separating truth from falsehood for outside observers, and gave as an example the story of the capture of Snake Island on the first day of the war by the Russians, when people circulated on social networks a call in which the Russian Navy ordered 13 Ukrainian soldiers from the island’s garrison to surrender or Death, and the response is “Damn you!” Zelensky even praised the “heroic” death of the defenders of the island, but the truth is that the soldiers were captured and sent home in a prisoner exchange.

And this was not the only myth aimed at glorifying the Ukrainian championship. On February 25, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko published a tweet invoking a mysterious fighter pilot who had already shot down 6 Russian planes. The international press quickly dubbed him the “Ghost of Kiev”. Various Ukrainian government websites, before admitting that this ghost that achieved 40 aerial victories did not exist at all, such as the super fighter that allegedly destroyed dozens of tanks.

The writer explained that these rumors about fictional superheroes quickly faded, because there are real heroes that must be mentioned first, and because Ukrainians also realize that no matter how lies help support the morale of the nation, their use is counterproductive to external public opinion, whose support is necessary.

The challenge of international justice

The two authors touched on the hasty Russian withdrawal from Kiev and nearby areas, leaving mass graves and corpses bearing signs of torture in several places in the small town of Bucha, so that the propaganda war ignites immediately, and there is talk of Putin’s submission to the International Criminal Court, and the United States is pressing to suspend Russia’s participation. At the UN Human Rights Council, while denying the obvious – according to Goya – they try to reverse the accusation by launching many counter versions such as Ukrainian montages, corpses representing actors and Ukrainian revenge on civilians who were welcoming the Russians.

The book indicated that one of the features of this war is that the legal procedures for war crimes began before the fighting ended, as the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice investigates all cases that have been observed since the start of hostilities, although there is little chance of prosecuting the suspects, not to mention the chain of command that connects To President Putin except in cases of capture, as happened with Sergeant Chichimarin, who was convicted in May 2022 of shooting a civilian.

By the end of August 2022, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office had documented more than 29,000 war crimes, identified more than 624 suspects, and prosecuted 160 of them, noting that Ukraine and Russia are not signatories to the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court, and therefore These two states cannot file complaints with it, but all signatory states can under the legal concept of “universal jurisdiction” that applies to war crimes.

In this context, Jean Lopez referred to the issuance of arrest warrants by the Second Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court against two persons in the context of the situation in Ukraine, namely President Putin and the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia Maria Alekseevna Lvova Belova, warning that you can only bring a superpower to justice if I was completely defeated.

Jean Lopez concluded with the issue of recruiting prisoners into the Russian army, and said that it is not a new matter, and that it is a Soviet heritage and perhaps older than that. It was known to the Russian imperial army, and this practice reached new heights during the era of the late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, during the Great Patriotic War. To make up for the heavy losses, as more than a million common right prisoners were withdrawn from labor camps with the promise of having their sentences overturned if their behavior was exemplary, this practice was interpreted as necessary.


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Two prominent French experts talk about the mysteries of the war in Ukraine

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