“The Ukrainian soldiers I saw are not ready to negotiate at all,” according to reporter Patrick Chauvel

Patrick Chauvel, photographer in theaters of war for more than 50 years, came to speak further Classic radio of the war in Ukrainewhich he covered. It testifies to very intense conflicts and the difference in state of mind between demotivated Russian soldiers and Ukrainians who are ready to do anything to repel the aggressor.

This conflict is “a monster similar to World War II or the Korean War”

Patrick Chauvel, a reporter who has covered some forty wars and been wounded ten times at the front, has returned fromUkraine three days ago. It bears witness to a conflict that differs from all the others in its intensity and its implications: it is a “monster similar to World War II or the Korean War [1950-1953] ” and it “may spill over into World War III”, he worries. The civil wars he covered showed no such offensive animation, with warships, dogfights, satellites and European weapons directly hitting Russian troops. “I feel like I’m witnessing a ‘real’ war for the first time”he says.

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“This time there is a threat to world peace”. According to him, it is enough that the Russian bombings in Lviv or Odessa “miss their target and hit Poland or Romania” that NATO goes to war with Russia. In light of the Ukrainian counter-offensive and Vladimir Putin’s weakened position, under fire from criticism in his own country, Patrick Chauvel finds it hard to see how the Russians could turn the situation around without “a million men”. Kyiv is 8 times the size of Paris and seems impregnable, but it is too early to know the rest, the photographer qualifies: “I know the conflicts well enough, and to make forecasts is to be wrong every time”.

Since 2014, Ukrainians have been training in guerrilla techniques, according to Patrick Chauvel

Submitted Ukraine per week Paris MatchIn particular, Patrick Chauvel met a 19-year-old Russian prisoner, completely lost: ” Irealized he was in Ukraine when he saw the Chernobyl panel. Before that, he thought he was on maneuvers in Belarus.. Wounded and passed out, he woke up as a prisoner and totally demotivated. The reporter also rubbed shoulders with Ukrainian soldiers for a long time, impressive for theirs “motivation” and their “discipline” according to him. The resistance of the Ukrainians in the occupied territories looks like a real one “urban guerrilla”he continues: “since the beginning of the war in Donbass [avril 2014], Ukrainians prepared in case of”. aware of their progress, “the soldiers I spoke to are not ready to negotiate at all, it’s too late”, says the photographer. Losing this war and ending up living with the Russians would be unbearable because the number of casualties on the Kremlin side is so high that “The Russians would take terrible revenge if they kept the country”, he reports. Ukrainians are “patriots to the end” and carried by one “strong morale”will do everything to take back Donbass as well as Crimea.

Clement Kasser

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