The head of French military intelligence, General Eric Vido, left his post at the suggestion of the army leadership. And all because he did not believe in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Or rather, he could not predict it promptly, while the British and American intelligence services accurately predicted the plans of the Russian Federation to launch a large-scale military operation.
Eric Vido, a special forces general, lasted only seven months as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Considering that Russia’s aggression is unlikely, he “earned his resignation” with an unpleasant wording: for “lack of deep knowledge of the subject” and “for insufficient informing the leadership.”
True, the task of the department did not at all include the obligation to report intentions, it had to provide data on actions in a timely manner, says a source from the Agence France-Presse (AFP) in military circles. What’s more, General Vido’s office eventually came to the conclusion that Russia had ample opportunity to invade Ukraine. So we can admit, judging by the further development of events, that the general was not mistaken.
General Thierry Burkhardt, chief of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, was forced to admit in early March that French intelligence was not up to the level of British or American intelligence – their achievements were widely publicized in order to put maximum pressure on Putin. The general then said in an interview with Le Monde:
“The Americans said the Russians would attack, and they were right. And our intelligence believed that the cost of conquering Ukraine would be monstrous, and that the Russians had other options to overthrow the government of Vladimir Zelensky.”
Even more undignified was the opinion of French intelligence, its lack of understanding of the true intentions of the Russian president, against the backdrop of regular communication between Emmanuel Macron and Putin, literally until the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
However, Professor Alexandre Papaemmanuel, an intelligence specialist, believes that only the military department headed by General Vido should not be blamed for the mistakes made – all the French intelligence services were, alas, not up to par. And, apparently, the expert says, there were other reasons for the general’s resignation.
A few weeks after Wido’s appointment as chief of military intelligence, Australia canceled a multi-billion dollar contract with France for the construction of submarines, entering into a security and cooperation agreement with the United States and Britain. French intelligence failed to foresee such a development of events, which became a complete and unpleasant surprise for France and caused a diplomatic scandal, writes air force.