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Half of French youth ready to fight in Ukraine to defend France's interests, study finds

Sunday, 14 April 2024, 09:57
Half of French youth ready to fight in Ukraine to defend France's interests, study finds
Ukrainian soldiers and a French army instructor. Stock photo: Getty Images

Half of the French youth would be willing to enlist in the military and fight on the territory of Ukraine if it were necessary to defend France's interests.

Source: Le Parisien, citing the results of a study conducted by the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) and the Directorate-General for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS), as reported by European Pravda

IRSEM and DGRIS are entities within the French Defence Ministry structure. The study’s results were published on 12 April, and the data was collected many months before.

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The research was led by Anne Muxel who analysed a series of surveys, including a questionnaire conducted by Ipsos among 2,300 French people aged 18-25 in the summer of 2023.

Among the questions was: "If France's defence required its participation in the war in Ukraine, would you be willing to join to defend your country?" 51% of respondents, including both boys and girls, answered affirmatively, with 17% giving a very confident response and 34% answering "probably yes".

In a question not mentioning Ukraine, 57% of respondents expressed readiness to take up arms to defend France in the event of war.

About a third of respondents, 31%, are supportive of potential French military involvement in the war on Ukraine's side, whereas this figure is 17% among the 50+ age group.

62% of respondents believe it would be appropriate to reinstate compulsory military service, which France abolished in 1997.

French media note that data collection took place long before President Emmanuel Macron publicly stated that he does not rule out involving Western allies in Ukraine, sparking heated discussions and public objections from most European capitals.

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