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“Guided by my values”: meeting with a Frenchman who went to fight alongside the Ukrainians


As the battle intensifies in kyiv where Ukrainian rocket launchers respond to Russian artillery, our special envoy on the spot, Nicolas Tonev, met a French volunteer who is awaiting his assignment in the field. Aged 22, he left for a month, hiding his project from his family, but guided by his convictions.

The Russian military offensive continues in Ukraine, after deadly strikes on Thursday in Kharkiv, the country’s second city, and in Longansk, and accusations of phosphorus bombs in Roubizhne. The battle is also intensifying on the capital’s front where Ukrainian rocket launchers are responding to Russian artillery. Our special envoy on the spot met a French volunteer who is awaiting his assignment in the field in kyiv. Aged 22, he decided to join forces with Ukraine.

His family does not know he is in Ukraine.

He wears a brand new fatigues with a balaclava at the start of the interview, so as not to be recognized. We will call him Luc*, because he wishes to remain anonymous, for himself and because his family does not know that he is there. It has the word “Medic” on the trellis, because Luc is a former Civil Security soldier, now working for the Samu. He invested 1,500 euros to come to Ukraine, a country with which he has no connection. But he says he is guided by his convictions.

“Ever since I was little, I learned the value of respecting freedom and human dignity. protected the ambulances and drove. He was the one who inspired me a lot in my life, who guided all my professional choices and my career,” he says. “So somewhere, he’s with me. He’s the one who guided me to kyiv. It’s a way of paying homage to him and following in his footsteps.”

“I hope to return home in the best possible condition”

Luc has his “professional background”, his training and his medical skills. “Beyond that, I came with all my medical equipment and I can also provide support in terms of training because I have a first aid trainer diploma. I think it can be interesting for the people, in addition to the actions that I will carry out myself on the ground”, continues the young man.

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He recognizes it, he expects “something very hard” here. “I know I could never really be able to understand what war is until I’ve been in the fight that I’m just going to try to brave. We all hope to get home and help as many people as possible here. “. The apprehension is very present, as is the fear of dying, but Luc is aware of the risks.

“You have to accept it, otherwise you shouldn’t come. We had to anticipate the consequences, take out death insurance… But all that doesn’t cause a lot of emotion because it helps me stay focused. Certainly , I’m scared, you have to admit, and it’s a special situation. But we will see the result and once again I hope to return home in the best possible condition and have done my job.”

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Luc is there for a month, the duration of the holidays he took. When he is in the field, he will display, as during his meeting with our special envoy, two flags on the left sleeve of his fatigues: that of Ukraine and that of France, because he wants the Ukrainians to know where he comes from.

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