Russian propagandists are pushing for a strike on France due to President Emmanuel Macron‘s support of Ukraine in its war with Russia, according to a video posted Monday by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.
The video from Russian state TV begins with the pondering of a counterstrike as Russia “sits and waits.” Vladimir Solovyov, a known propagandist and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, then chimes in, calling for a preemptive strike rather than a counterstrike.
“Macron supplies the tanks and we give them a preemptive strike against France as a party to the conflict,” Solovyov said.
Andrey Gurulyov, retired Russian military commander and current member of the Russian Duma, then says if France begins to “harm openly, fearing nothing,” then it is a recognized party in the conflict.
“There should be no France,” Gurulyov said. “There was France and now there is no France. Would anyone be upset about that?”
He also claimed that Russia has enough ammunition to “to destroy France or Britain.”
Attention, France!— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) January 9, 2023
Propagandists are threatening with a preemptive strike. pic.twitter.com/Jy2JDvohgv
Gerashchenko posted another video on Monday pertaining to Macron, in which the French leader says in an interview that Putin told him Ukraine was the real threat.
“When you meet (Putin), he is not unpleasant,” Macron said. “That’s the paradox, you see. I think there is nothing to justify starting a war. He tried to explain that Ukraine threatened him, then through Ukraine the Europeans and Americans threatened Russia’s security.”
“I don’t think that’s true,” Macron continued. “Basically, he launched this war to recover territories and to extend Russia’s perimeter to the empire that once existed.”
Macron traveled to meet U.S. President Joe Biden in late November, which was the first state visit hosted by the Biden administration.
The situation between Russia and Ukraine was part of their reported conversations, which differed due to Macron encouraging more negotiations at that juncture while Biden said Kyiv would make that decision.
In the weeks since, any such negotiations have seemingly fallen apart between both nations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered a starting point for such peace talks, with multiple preconditions required by the Kremlin in return.
The pair discussed defense cooperation and energy stability, sharing “synchronized positions,” according to Zelensky.
Macron has previously been rebuffed by NATO allies in Baltic states and Ukrainian officials for his repeated push to bring Russia to the negotiating table.
“We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table,” Macron said when he visited the U.S.
Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense and French government for comment.