French Intelligence Chief Fired Over Russian War Failings

The director of French military intelligence General Eric Vidaud has resigned amid claims that his agency failed to predict the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While the U.S. accurately predicted that Russia was planning a large-scale invasion, France’s analysis differed from the predictions of its allies such as the U.S and Britain. 

Vidaud was criticized for ‘insufficient briefings’ and a ‘failure to master the issues’. 

Gen. Thierry Burkhard, a French army general, said that French intelligence had not been up to the level of U.S. or U.K. briefings earlier in March.

“Our services thought instead that the cost of conquering Ukraine would have been monstrous and Russians had other options to bring down the government of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky,” Burkhard said.

Alexandre Papaemmanuel, a professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and an intelligence specialist, said that it was too simple to blame military intelligence for the failure.

Vidaud’s service also came in for criticism when Australia canceled a multi-billion dollar submarine contract with France in favor of a security alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., weeks after Vidaud took charge of military intelligence.

Vidaud had led the Directorate of Military Intelligence since last August and decided to step down immediately after the termination.

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