On Monday July 14, Bastille Day, the Ukrainian community of London held a demonstration at the French embassy in London to denounce the decision by France to sell two Mistral class warships to Russia, fearful that Russia will use the ships to continue its aggression against Ukraine. The Ukrainians requested that French President Hollande not deliver the Mistral invasion vessels to Russia, that he look for alternative solutions, and he cancel the training of 400 Russian sailors by the French Navy.
The London protest was held in conjunction with the worldwide protests held in many cities around the world on this day. On Bastille day, the Ukrainians demanded France to remember the founding values of the French Republic.
The Mistral carriers give the Russian Navy versatility that it does not have and cannot domestically produce. With two Mistral carriers in its arsenal, the Navy would be able to drop a battalion of marines and armor on any coastline within 10,000 kilometers of its home port without refueling, provide helicopter support for those forces, and orchestrate an entire operation from the ship’s advanced control center. “Not even the Soviet Navy had such capabilities,” said Mikhail Barabanov, a naval analyst at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a private Moscow-based defense think tank.
Ukrainians, as well as concerned members of the international community, are extremely worried these ships will reinforce Putin’s ability to destabilize the region. Putin is now sending his tanks, special forces, weapons, and mercenaries to Ukraine in order to tear apart this peaceful and sovereign country. He does not hesitate to terrorize local populations, to use insane propaganda, to usurp the power of local authorities, to kidnap, torture, and kill those who oppose his bloodthirsty and imperialistic plans.
For more information about France’s sale of these ships, read The Mistral deal explained.