Support for Ukrainians fighters of democracy


Patrick Le Tréhondat and Patrick Silberstein

April 17, 2024

By chance, this declaration appears almost to the day on the 50th anniversary of an appeal issued in France on the occasion of the 1974 presidential election and signed by 100 conscripts from the contingent demanding, among other things, respect for democratic freedoms within the French army. The statement we are issuing today, as the Ukrainian people and their army resist the Russian invasion, is an opportunity to show that there is no incompatibility between the exercise of fundamental freedoms and the conduct of war. Everything depends, of course, on the objectives of the war and the organisation of the armed forces.

We, the undersigned, former conscripts in the army, provide our support to the Ukrainian people in their struggle against the imperialist aggression of the Russian Federation and particularly to those who are resisting the Russian troops with arms in hand. In very difficult conditions they fight for the right to existence and sovereignty of their country and the preservation of democracy.

In France, we once fought so that the military were not excluded from the exercise of democratic rights because we believed that an army which does not cultivate fundamental human rights within it cannot claim to defend a democratic country.

In Ukraine's war to resist Russian imperialism, we see that Ukrainian soldiers freely participate in the democratic debates that run through society and that they are not deprived of their voice.

We note that there exists within the Ukrainian forces an association of military women, Veteranka , which aims to “defend and protect the rights of women veterans and active [female] military personnel”.

We note that there is Військові ЛГБТ, the union of LGBTQIA+ in uniform which sets itself the objective of “enforcing their rights, [and] building an inclusive and egalitarian society, including minorities”.

We note that some Ukrainian soldiers wear the insignia of their trade union organization on their uniforms.

We see that civil society organizations, particularly unions, provide moral, political and material support to their members under the flags.

Former conscripts attached to democracy and the democratic rights of expression and association with the armies, we salute the democratic spirit which animates all of these soldiers, men and women.

April 2024

The signatories

Aberdam, Serge, Air Base 117 (Balard); Baron, Alain, 1st group of hunters (Reims); Bourbon, Patrick, 16th Mechanized Fighter Regiment (Saarburg, French Forces in Germany); Brinon, Jean-Paul, 3rd Infantry Regiment (Radolfzell, French Forces in Germany); Brody, Patrick, 51st Artillery Regiment (Bitburg, French Forces in Germany); Cochet, Jean-Pierre, 159th Alpine Infantry Regiment (Briançon); Delmonte, Yves, Mountain Company (La Valbonne); Duffaud, Didier, 7th Engineer Regiment (Avignon); Epsztajn, Didier, 730th munitions company (French Forces in Germany); Fontaine, Didier, 32nd Artillery Regiment, Oberhoffen-sur-Moder; Galin, Bernard, 46th Infantry Regiment (Berlin); Gérardin, Dominique, 403rd anti-aircraft artillery regiment (Chaumont); Godet, Jean-Luc, 8th Hussard Regiment (Altkirch); Gueniffey, Gérard, 3rd Marine Parachute Regiment (Carcassonne); Guerrier, Daniel, Naval Training Centre (Brest); Hardy, Jean-Pierre, 4th Hussard Regiment (Besançon); Himel, Arnold, 1st regiment of the train (Paris-Mortier); Hollinger, Yves, 24th GCM (Tubingen, French Forces in Germany); Inizan, Christophe, Naval Base (Brest); Jean, Rémy, 3rd Infantry Regiment (Radolfzell, French Forces in Germany); Jeanne, Pierre, 3rd Marine Artillery Regiment (Vernon); Laurenceau, Patrick, 1st Marine Artillery Regiment (Melun); Le Moal, Patrick, 8th Hussard Regiment (Altkirch); Le Pichon, Olivier, 6th cuirassier regiment (Olivet); Le Tréhondat, Patrick, Naval Base (Brest); Lebrun, Philippe, 9th Marine Artillery Regiment (Saarburg, French Forces in Germany); Lecoin, Laurent, 1st Spahis Regiment (Spire, French Forces in Germany); Lerichomme, Jacques, Materiel Regiment (Rastatt, French Forces in Germany); Lévy, Paul, 57th Infantry Regiment (Souge); Mahieux, Christian, Conscientious objector insubordinate to national service; Malamoud, Antoine, Air Base 272 (Saint-Cyr-l’École); Marx, Denis, 1st Engineer Regiment (Strasbourg-Neuhof); Matheron, Yves, 405th artillery regiment (Hyères); Maurice, Charles, 159th Alpine Infantry Regiment (Briançon); Morel, Philippe, School of Train Application (Tours); Nauroy, Marc, 6th Alpine Hunting Battalion (Grenoble); Negroni, Bruno, 5th Engineer Regiment (Versailles); Pasquet, Jacques, Barracks Foch (Rennes); Percebois, Bruno, Air Base 112 (Reims); Perret, Patrice, 81st Support Regiment (Trier, French Forces in Germany); Petiteau, Jean-Jacques, 43rd Marine Infantry Regiment (Offenburg, French Forces in Germany); Pigaillem, Jacques, 57th Communications Regiment (Mulhouse); Quintal, Yves, 9th Hussard Regiment (Provinces); Rangot, Jean-Pierre, 43rd Marine Infantry Regiment (Offenburg); Richard, François, 76th Infantry Regiment (Vincennes); Rosevègue, André, 51st Infantry Regiment (Amiens); Roussel, Michel, Camp de Canjuers (Var); Sandelion, Jean-Paul, 3rd Engineer Regiment (Charleville-Mézières); Silberstein, Patrick, 2nd Hussard Regiment (Orléans), School of Train Application (Tours); Valletta, Jean-Paul, 53rd Train Regiment (Karlsruhe, French Forces in Germany); Verrières, Jacques, 1st Marine Artillery Regiment (Melun); Vey, Daniel, Headquarters “Brother” (Lyon).