Germany is investigating Russia's apparent interception of military talks on Ukraine Germany


Chancellor Olaf Scholz described as “very serious” the distribution of a recording that allegedly shows German officials discussing the delivery of long-range missiles to Kiev


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised a full investigation after a recording of supposedly confidential army conversations about the Ukraine war was leaked on Russian social media, causing a major embarrassment for Berlin.

A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the ministry believes that a conversation in the air force department was “eavesdropped.” “We cannot currently say with certainty whether any changes have been made to the recorded or transcribed version circulating on social media,” they said.

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Margarita Simonyan, a Russian state television journalist and director of Russia Today, posted an audio file on her Telegram channel claiming that it showed German officers “discussing how to attack the Crimean bridge” that Russia was using conquered and annexed Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

The participants in the call are apparently also discussing the possible delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev, which Scholz has so far publicly rejected. They also talk about the training of Ukrainian soldiers and possible military targets. Kiev has long called on Germany to provide it with Taurus missiles, which can reach targets up to 500 km (300 miles) away.

Portal listened to the 38-minute recording but could not independently confirm its authenticity.

During a visit to Rome, Scholz described the possible leak as “very serious” and said it was “now being clarified very carefully, very intensively and very quickly”.

The Russian embassy in Berlin did not respond to an emailed request for comment on allegations of possible espionage on Saturday. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on social media Friday: “We demand an explanation from Germany,” without elaborating on his specific concerns.

The ARD described the leak as a “catastrophe” for the German secret services.

According to the magazine “Der Spiegel”, the video conference took place on the WebEx platform and not in a secret internal army network.

“If this story turns out to be true, it would be a highly problematic incident,” said Green Party politician Konstantin von Notz to the RND.

At a diplomatic forum in Turkey on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the recording showed that Ukraine and its supporters “do not want to change course at all and inflict a strategic defeat on the battlefield for Russia.” “.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded that Germany provide “prompt” explanations about the discussion. “Attempts to avoid answering the questions will be viewed as an admission of guilt,” she said.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of the Security Council, said on Telegram: “Our age-old rivals – the Germans – have once again become our sworn enemies.”

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the defense committee in the German Bundestag, said Moscow's intention was “obvious.” She said Scholz had been “warned” about supplying Ukraine with Taurus missiles.

“We urgently need to strengthen our security and defense, because we are obviously vulnerable in this area,” she told the Funke media group.

Roderich Kiesewetter of Germany's opposition party warned that more footage could also be leaked, telling Handelsblatt he believed the reports were authentic.

“Russia is of course showing how much it uses espionage and sabotage in the context of hybrid warfare,” he was quoted as saying. “It is expected that much more will be intercepted and leaked to influence decisions, discredit and manipulate people.”

With Agence France-Presse and Portal


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