French paratroopers conduct military drill in Estonia in message to Russia

22 June 2022, 12:54

Soldiers jump over Estonia
France Ukraine Russia War. Picture: PA

The hastily organised exercise in Estonia, a Nato ally, was executed as an act of “strategic solidarity” amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

French armed forces have conducted a surprise military exercise in Estonia, deploying more than 100 paratroopers in the Baltic country that neighbours Russia, the French defence ministry said.

The airborne operation conducted on Tuesday night and dubbed Thunder Lynx “enabled, at very short notice, the dropping of about 100 paratroopers” from France’s 11th Airborne Brigade “over an area secured by Estonian soldiers”, the statement said.

The hastily organised exercise in Estonia, a Nato ally, was executed as an act of “strategic solidarity” amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“The airborne operation illustrates the ability of the French armed forces to intervene, in emergency, and support an allied country,” a French defence ministry statement said.

France was one of the first countries to send its troops to Europe’s eastern flank following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

France has around 500 soldiers deployed to Romania as part of Nato’s Rapid Reaction Force and has been a key player in Nato’s bolstering of forces on the alliance’s eastern flank since the war started.

In May, France deployed an air defence system to Romania that Nato said “can ensure protection to the forces operating within the area”.

During a recent visit to the French troops stationed in Romania, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasised his country’s commitment to “defend Europe as war is being waged again”.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Rudy Giuliani speaking

Rudy Giuliani targeted in criminal probe of 2020 Georgia election

Trump FBI

US Justice Department opposes unsealing document for Mar-a-Lago warrant

Heathrow airport to extend flight passenger cap

Heathrow airport to extend flight passenger cap until end of October half term in bid to limit chaos

Soldiers’ equipment

Three Britons among five people on trial in separatist-controlled Ukraine

Latvia US

US defence secretary tests positive for Covid-19 for second time

R Kelly

R Kelly jury selection begins over trial-fixing allegations

Russia Navalny

Kremlin critic Navalny says he is in solitary confinement

Kenya Election

Kenya’s deputy president Ruto declared election winner

Ikea Shanghai

Shoppers rush the doors in Shanghai Ikea after flash Covid lockdown ordered

Russia Ukraine War

Russian shells slam into eastern Ukraine, killing three

Norway Bridge Collapse

Drivers rescued as bridge in Norway collapses

The propagandist posted images of himself at the HQ on Telegram

Ukraine blows up Russia's 'Wagner mercenary HQ' after street sign gives away location

Armenia Explosion

Death toll in Armenia fireworks depot blast reaches six

Afghanistan

Afghanistan marks one year since Taliban seizure as woes mount

Adele Milloz

World champion ski mountaineer Adele Milloz dies after fall while climbing in the Alps

Myanmar Suu Kyi

Myanmar court convicts Suu Kyi on more corruption charges