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Geopolitics

When France's Foreign Legion Becomes French

Each year, about 200 soldiers from the elite military unit become naturalized French citizens.

Foreign legion in Southern France city of Orange
Foreign legion in Southern France city of Orange
Delphine de Mallevoüe

PARIS — Even if the sky was falling, they would still stand straight and calm. They are the Légion Étrangère, the French Foreign Legion, a unique military unit with its own history in this patriotic land.

As they do every year, the Legion stood out at this past July 14th's national celebration parade. Perhaps it's because of the myths that surround this unique elite unit, which was created in 1831, and the distinct white kepi, a French military cap with a horizontal peak, that the troops wear. Wielding axes and big beards at the parade, they walked in front of the flags and their chiefs, unlike all the other units. It was a tradition inherited from history, when they were in charge of clearing paths with their axes.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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