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German opposition calls for investigation into leak of officers' conversation about Ukraine

Sunday, 3 March 2024, 16:46
German opposition calls for investigation into leak of officers' conversation about Ukraine
Photo: AFP via Getty Images

A German opposition politician has called for a parliamentary investigation into Russia’s interception and leak of a conversation about Ukraine between senior officers from the German military, the Bundeswehr.

Source: European Pravda with reference to DW

"The reports are disconcerting in two different ways," said Alexander Dobrindt, a Christian-Social Union (CSU) politician."Firstly, because the Russians evidently listened in on sensitive security discussions, and also because the chancellor may have explained his refusal to send Taurus missiles with a false assertion."

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Dobrindt stated that these matters require an investigation.

"The chancellor must explain himself in the Bundestag," he said. "Given this set of facts, a parliamentary inquest cannot be ruled out."

Roderich Kiesewetter, a Christian Democrat (CDU) defence policy expert, said he believed Russia had deliberately chosen this moment to publish the intercept in an attempt to "undermine the Taurus delivery by Germany".

He told public broadcaster ZDF that this showed how "deeply" Russian spy services had already investigated German communications on this matter.

Eva Högl, Parliament's Special Commissioner to the military from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, called for improved training on secure communication for senior military officers.

"Firstly, all those responsible at every level of the Bundeswehr must immediately receive comprehensive training on secure communications. Secondly, the stable possibility for secure and secret information and communication transfer must be ensured," she stated.

She also advocated rapid and more active involvement in counterespionage work, particularly from the Military Counterintelligence Service.

Earlier, Germany’s Ministry of Defence launched an investigation into whether the conversation between the members of the Air Force had been intercepted. According to Russian propaganda, the officers had discussed using Taurus missiles to blow up the Crimean Bridge.

The German Defence Ministry later confirmed that the conversation had indeed been intercepted.

The online conference between senior officers of the German Air Force, which was likely intercepted by the Russians on 19 February, was focused on the preparation of a half-hour-long briefing for German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius about the possibility of sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine. The officers talk openly, among other things, about what American and British soldiers are doing in Ukraine and discuss the possibility of Ukrainian personnel being trained in Germany to use Taurus missiles.

The scandal has prompted a number of German politicians to urge the Defence Ministry to clarify the situation around the alleged interception and spying in its ranks.

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