Putin to the Magués: “You are the best ambassadors of the French people”

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Sputnik France, May 9, 2016

Translated from French by Tom Winter

After the Victory Day Parade Vladimir Putin met with Jean-Claude and Micheline Magué, the French couple who offered their military medals to the family of the Russian officer Alexander Prokhorenko, fallen in Syria. 

Festive and joyful, Moscow today celebrates the Day of Victory. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate this great day and share their joy.

In this agitated crowd, this modest couple were guests of honor at the parade. These are the Magué, the French couple whose name is now very well known among Russian families. Jean-Claude and Micheline Magué handed over their family’s WWII medals to the family of the Russian officer Alexander Prokhorenko who was killed in Syria. 

In gratitude for this gesture of solidarity, Vladimir Putin invited the couple to come to the Parade of Victory Day, May 9. And today in Moscow, the Russian President personally expressed his gratitude.

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“We are very touched by your gesture. It was most unexpected! Your warm gesture goes straight to the heart. You are the best ambassadors of the French people!” said Vladimir Putin. 

Having arrived in Moscow a few days before, the Magué had time to admire the beauty of the Russian capital on the eve of the solemnities. “It’s beautiful. Yesterday I leafed through the pages of the Kremlin guidebook, and it was an impossible dream, and now I see a true story, and it makes an impression!” recounted Mr. Magué.

One of the military decorations that the French family passed to Russia is a Knight’s Cross of the Legion of Honour. It was given to an uncle in the family who had been deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp after he took part in the resistance at the age of 17. The other is a Croix de Guerre with bronze palm that one of the fathers of the couple had been decorated with for combat missions as a bomber pilot.

Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, was married and looking forward to the birth of his first child. He was one of the best Russian military’s Special Operations Service. Near Palmyra, the young man was responsible for defining terrorist ground targets to direct fighter planes. Encircled by terrorists on March 17, 2016, he made a decision that is not part of the learning that is usually given to the military. Alexander Prokhorenko ordered an air strike on his position. The strike was carried out and the terrorists were eliminated.

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