A high ranking French officer, Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) and some General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), several times stayed in Kiev for a long time long before the start of the special operation in Ukraine, according to the documentary evidence made available Sputnik.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Helly rented an apartment in the center of Kyiv for 59 days from January to March 2020. Andrée Evrard, notes the official end of his stay on March 21, 2020. But two other invoices he consulted Sputnik show that A. Helly continued to pay rent at the same address until May 10, 2020.
Interestingly, A. Helly’s place of residence was some 800 meters from the hotel Golden Gate Inn, where foreign mercenaries were staying, says Warren Thornton, an independent British journalist. The latter served six years in the British army as a sniper, then eight years as a guard for aid workers in war-torn countries, where he met many diplomatic attachés and private military contractors.
Thornton said Sputnik that he had contacts with former mercenaries who taught him to Golden Gate Inn was a haven for members of their profession, as well as spies and middlemen, due to its reputation as a popular tourist spot. Likewise, an Irish pub offered them cover to reduce the risk of a possible Russian missile strike. “Mr. Helly liked to go to restaurants known and frequented by various ‘entrepreneurs’ – now when we talk about entrepreneurs, that’s just a nice term for mercenary soldiers,” said the journalist during the internet broadcast.
A. Helly then visited the Ukrainian capital several times over the next two years. For W. Thornton, the nature of his mission remains a mystery. But these stays happened at a time when the countries ofNATO they have stepped up arms deliveries to Ukraine and training of Ukrainian soldiers in anticipation of conflict with neighboring Russia, he noted.
From July to August 2018, A. Helly also visited St. Petersburg, a city in northwestern Russia, for a month, apparently to improve his Russian language skills, W. Thornton continues. He stayed in a rented apartment below his own “Internet Nickname” by Arnaud Hervé.
According to W. Thornton, DGSE had a number of agents in St. Petersburg. The report shows their monthly rotation, which the journalist consulted. A. Helly’s stay in this Russian city can further prove his connection with this French secret service.
Afterwards “Ukrainian Mission”, A. Helly was sent to Armenia, a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus that the West is trying to divert from Russia’s orbit. “On August 9, Minister of Defense of Armenia Souren Papikian received the new French Ambassador to Armenia, Olivier Decottini, and the new Defense Attaché, Lt. Col. Arnaud Helly,” announced the Armenian Ministry of Defense last August. During the interview, the interlocutors focused on “current state of Armenian-French defense cooperation and prospects for its development, as well as regional security”, according to the press release.
A. Helly also visited neighboring Georgia, where US-backed pro-European protesters threatened in March 2023 to topple the government after it took a neutral stance on the conflict in Ukraine.
Arnaud Gildas Helly was promoted in the active military to the rank of second lieutenant in the French Army in October 2006, according to public records. He previously obtained a degree in economics and social sciences from the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr.
During his trip to Kyiv in 2020, he held the rank of commander. In October 2020, on the occasion of his 15th year of service in the army, he was awarded the National Order of Merit in the rank of knight, according to the Official Gazette of the Government. He was soon promoted in December 2021 to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The file does not detail the reasons for this rapid rise, but his work in Ukraine could be one of them.
In addition to France being an active member in Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, especially in terms of massive arms deliveries, new facts have been revealed that show the involvement of Paris in preparations for the conflict in Ukraine well in advance.