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Tragic Loss: French Volunteers Killed in Russian Drone Strike in Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron has vehemently condemned the recent drone attack by Russian forces in Beryslav, Kherson region, Ukraine, which resulted in the death of French volunteers, calling the act “cowardly and outrageous.”

Macron’s Solidarity

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Expressing deep condolences, Macron voiced his support for the victims’ families and the wounded.

He said, “My thoughts are with their loved ones and wounded comrades. I express my solidarity with all the volunteers who are trying to help people.”

France’s Call for Accountability

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French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne added, “Two French humanitarian workers paid for their commitment to Ukrainians with their lives.Three were injured.My thoughts are with them and their families.France supports them. Russia must be held accountable for its crimes.”

The Victims

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The deceased were identified as members of the Swiss organization Entraide Protestante Suisse (EPER), marking a significant loss for the humanitarian community.

The Attack in Detail

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Russian forces launched a drone attack on February 1, targeting Beryslav in the Kherson region, killing two French citizens and injuring three others in a violent escalation affecting foreign volunteers.

Official Statements

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Switzerland’s HEKS/EPER NGO confirmed the loss of two employees during a field assessment, condemning the attack’s brutality and its impact on their mission.

Uncertainty and Mourning

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The overlap between the French nationals and HEKS/EPER employees killed remains unclear, with official details on the victims and their roles yet to be disclosed by the French government.

Russia’s Silence

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The Russian government has not issued a statement regarding the attack, continuing a pattern of non-commentary on specific strikes within the conflict zone.

The Toll on Foreign Volunteers

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The conflict in Ukraine has seen a number of foreign volunteers fall victim, highlighting the international dimension of the humanitarian crisis.

The Wider Impact

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Following the attack, it was reported that another four individuals, including three foreign volunteers, were injured in a separate but significant drone assault on Beryslav.

Séjourné’s Condemnation

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Foreign Minister Séjourné reiterated that Russia would face consequences for its actions, labeling them as crimes and barbarity against humanitarian workers.

Zelensky’s Tribute

Credit: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the media during a press conference as Ukraine marks one year since Russia’s large-scale invasion, on February 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. — Photo by Oleksandr_Gusev

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky honored the bravery and humanity of the French aid workers, underscoring the indiscriminate nature of Russian terror.

Ongoing Attacks

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Beryslav, along with other towns along the Dnipro River, has faced regular attacks from Russian forces, with local officials reporting additional casualties and injuries.

International Reactions

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The international community, led by French officials, has rallied in condemnation of the strike, demanding justice and accountability for the loss of life and calling for an end to the violence against volunteers and civilians alike.

The Humanitarian Crisis

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The deaths and injuries of foreign volunteers underscore the severe humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine, as aid workers risk their lives to assist those affected by the conflict.

Seeking Justice

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France’s leadership has made it clear that they will pursue all avenues to hold Russia accountable for its actions, signaling a potential increase in diplomatic pressure and international scrutiny.

Solidarity Amidst Tragedy

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The tragedy has united global leaders, humanitarian organizations, and individuals in solidarity with the victims, their families, and the broader mission to provide aid and support to Ukraine amidst ongoing conflict.

A Call to Action

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The attack on French volunteers in Ukraine represents a stark reminder of the dangers faced by humanitarian workers and the urgent need for international cooperation to address the violence and support those in harm’s way.

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