Selon une source interne au ministère des Armées, le général Éric Vidaud aurait été remercié à cause de « briefings insuffisants » et d’un « manque de maîtrise des sujets ».

Par Yannick Izabayo

Le patron du renseignement militaire français, le général Eric Vidaud, va quitter ses fonctions suite notamment à ce qui a été jugé comme une insuffisance de ses services concernant l’invasion russe en Ukraine, a appris l’AFP de sources militaires et proches du dossier.

Une source militaire a confirmé le départ immédiat du patron de la Direction des Renseignements militaires (DRM), conformément à une information du site « l’Opinion ». Ce dernier cite une source interne au ministère des Armées évoquant des « briefings insuffisants » et un « manque de maîtrise des sujets ».


Selon la source militaire contactée par l’AFP, la DRM était dans le viseur de l’état-major des armées depuis l’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie. Mais la DRM « fait du renseignement militaire sur les opérations, pas sur l’intentionnalité », a-t-elle estimé. Les productions du service concluaient que la Russie avait les moyens d’envahir l’Ukraine. « Ce qui s’est passé lui donne raison », a-t-elle fait valoir.


Selon une autre source militaire interrogée par l’AFP et qui a elle aussi requis l’anonymat, le départ du haut gradé faisait l’objet de rumeurs depuis quelques jours au sein de l’armée. Mais il était question qu’un autre poste lui soit confié, ce qui n’aurait finalement pas été le cas. « On ne peut pas résumer ce changement à la seule situation ukrainienne. Il est aussi question de réorganisation du service », a souligné pour sa part une source proche du dossier.

Le général Vidaud avait été nommé à ce poste l’été dernier, en provenance du Commandement des Opérations spéciales (COS). Mais sa nomination avait été le fruit de jeux de chaises musicales qui avaient fait du bruit au sein de la communauté militaire.

Les conseillers de Poutine lui cachent les revers de son armée en Ukraine, selon le renseignement américain.Début mars, peu après l’invasion de l’Ukraine par les forces russes, le chef d’état-major des armées, le général Thierry Burkhard, avait admis dans le journal « le Monde » des divergences d’analyses entre Français et Américains sur la question d’une possible invasion de l’Ukraine.

« Les Américains disaient que les Russes allaient attaquer, ils avaient raison. Nos services pensaient plutôt que la conquête de l’Ukraine aurait un coût monstrueux et que les Russes avaient d’autres options » pour faire chuter le président Volodymyr Zelenski, avait-il reconnu.

De fait, les Américains ont obtenu du renseignement de très grande qualité sur les préparations russes et avaient décidé, plusieurs semaines avant l’invasion, d’en publier une partie pour tenter notamment de faire pression sur le président russe Vladimir Poutine.


« Le renseignement américain a battu la mesure et a utilisé le renseignement comme un moyen de pression. Cela marque le retour du renseignement comme levier de communication politique », a expliqué à cet égard à l’AFP Alexandre Papa Emmanuel, professeur à l’Institut des Etudes politiques (IEP) à Paris et spécialiste du renseignement.

Poutine a-t-il changé d’objectif en Ukraine ?


« La France fait de même. Elle dit en interne, au sein de la communauté et au reste du monde, qu’elle a été défaillante », a-t-il ajouté. Mais il estime pour autant que la DRM ne saurait être la seule à blâmer et qu’elle souffre en particulier de moyens insuffisants, d’un problème d’image et d’une organisation des services en silos.

« C’est un peu facile de blâmer la DRM. On l’apprécie quand elle est discrète et ne fait pas de vague et elle intrigue quand elle commence à montrer qu’elle existe », a regretté le chercheur. Pour autant, a-t-il conclu, « l’avertissement est pour l’ensemble de la communauté. Il faut être performant et être au rendez-vous de l’ensemble des menaces ».

Par L’Obs avec AFP

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