General Eric Vidaud resigned as chief of the French military intelligence agency on Wednesday.
Vidaud only remained in this position for seven months, having previously spent two years as head of Special Operations.
While other information services, such as the US one, predicted that Russia would invade Ukraine, France believed that Russia wouldn’t escalate this much.
General Thierry Burkhard, Chief of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, admitted in early March that there were very different interpretations of the information available.
“The Americans predicted that the Russians would attack and they were right,” he told the French newspaper Le Monde.
“Our services considered that the cost of conquering Ukraine would be colossal and that Russia had other options” to oust President Volodymyr Zelensky.
At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron was pushing for a diplomatic solution to the problem and had a meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a few days before the invasion. Macron had told reporters at the time that Vladimir Putin had changed a lot since the last time he met him in 2019.
Sources in Macron’s office had said that Putin seemed clearly “paranoid” and that it would be much more difficult to predict his movements than previously thought.
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