Ukrainian MP shows French equipment in captured Russian tank
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Oleksii Goncharenko sent Express.co.uk exclusive video from a captured Russian tank which the Ukrainians are now using to defend their country in the east. Mr Goncharenko, who has been on the frontline of fighting, takes viewers inside the tank and shows how it is equipped with night vision material which he says is made by French company Thales. The revelation is a humiliation to French President Emmanuel Macron who was in the Kyiv yesterday.
In the video, Goncharenko presented the T-90 tank which had been captured by the Ukrainians off the Russian army and is now being used to fight the Russians in Southern Ukraine.
He said: “It was a Vladimir Russian tank now it is a Voldymyr tank because now it fights for Ukraine.”
Going inside he pointed to night vision technology.
“What I want to show you that is very important. You see this Thales? Thales company, which is a French company, my friends.
“This company sold visors for night vision for these tanks.
“So this tank would not work or fire in the night without this system. Without the system that was sold to Russia by Thales company.
Speaking to the company directly he added: “Hello to Thales company! Guys is it ok that you sere selling to Russia after 2014?
“Systems for their weapons which are now killing Ukrainian civilians and fighting against the free world including France.
“Because Russia are saying openly that they have next plans to go into the Baltics and Poland. Nevermind 1814 when the Russians took Paris.
“Is it ok that you were selling to them?
“Stop it! Stop selling to Russia things which they are killing people with.”
Before Macron joined German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Premier Mario Draghi and Romanian president Klaus Iohannis questions had been asked about his support for the Ukrainians.
The French President had sparked outrage in an attempt to apparently compromise with Russia when he said it was essential “not [to] humiliate Russia so that the day the fighting stops, we can build a way out through diplomatic channels”.
Previously, he had been pictured at opposite ends of a very long table in fruitless talks with Putin.
In Kyiv a picture of him hugging President Zelensky was published with the Ukrainian President looking uncomfortable and unhappy in contrast to his reaction to Boris Johnson.
There had been anger too over the way Germany and Italy along with Hungary have been resistant to oil and gas sanctions on Russia and had to be pushed into outright support for Ukraine by the UK.
The four EU state leaders arrived in Kyiv to give their backing for Ukraine to join the EU as soon as possible in what appeared to be a major U-turn.
But now, after his numerous meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the revelation that a French defence company supplied essential equipment for Russian tanks despite concerns over Putin’s ambitions for a decade has cast doubt on France’s support for President Zelensky and his country again.
Express.co.uk contacted Thales but has still not had a response.
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