Ukraine’s defence ministry sought to woo France on Wednesday with a mock love-letter video, urging its ally to send more artillery as a romantic gesture to repel the Russian invasion.
The unusual plea, set to Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s sultry hit Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus, comes as Kyiv urges Western nations to help bolster its air defences after a rash of deadly Russian air strikes in recent days.
Romantic gestures take many forms, reads the text in the video posted to the ministry’s Twitter account, opening with footage of pink roses, milk chocolate and a sunset over the Seine river.
But if you really want to win our hearts, it adds before cutting to images of large guns in action, “nothing beats 155-mm highly mobile self-propelled artillery”.
President Emmanuel Macron last week said France would send Ukraine six truck-mounted Caesar guns, on top of the 18 it has already shipped over.
The Caesar is a 155-mm howitzer mounted on a six-wheeled truck chassis, capable of firing shells at ranges of more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) and then shifting position before the enemy can locate them and fire back.
In French, the ministry’s video thanks France for its support.
It shows a photo of Macron and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky shaking hands in the manner of an arm wrestle, taken on a June visit to Kyiv, and then makes its final plea in English.
Please send us more, it says, to the backdrop of France’s blue, white and red flag.
In addition to howitzers, French military shipments to Ukraine have included anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, armoured personnel carriers, fuel, and infantry gear.
But the country has been criticised for its relatively low level of spending on Ukraine’s defence.
French defence officials have argued that France’s stocks of heavy weapons are limited, and that Paris cannot provide more without leaving national security exposed.