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Russia-Ukraine war: Why a leaked German military recording is causing outcry – Times of India

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The German government has strongly dismissed claims that the disclosure of a conversation among senior German military officials by Russia signaled Berlin’s intentions for war against Russia.
Here is all you need to know about it:
What is the controversy about the leaked German military recording?
A 38-minute audio recording was leaked, featuring senior German military officials discussing potential military support for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.The conversation included talks about the possible delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv, training Ukrainian soldiers, and identifying potential military targets. The German government has confirmed the authenticity of the recording.
How has the German government responded to the leak?
The German government has vehemently rejected allegations that the leaked conversation indicates Berlin is preparing for war against Russia. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesman called these claims “absurdly infamous Russian propaganda.” The government has also described the leak as part of Russia’s “information war” aimed at creating discord within Germany and among its allies.
What was discussed in the leaked call?
The recorded call included discussions by German Air Force Chief Ingo Gerhartz and other Luftwaffe officials on the logistics and implications of supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine. They discussed training Ukrainian soldiers and potential targets for the missiles, emphasizing the political sensitivities and the implications of direct involvement.
Why is the leak considered a scandal?
The leak is deemed scandalous primarily because it exposed sensitive military deliberations through an insecure communication platform like WebEx. Critics argue this reflects a systematic underestimation of security threats in Germany. Additionally, the leak could strain relations with allies and reveal Germany’s political hesitations regarding direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
What are the implications of this leak for Germany-Russia relations?
The leak has escalated tensions between Germany and Russia, with Russia threatening Germany with “dire consequences” and alleging Berlin’s involvement in the conflict. The German government has rejected these claims as propaganda, but the incident underscores the deteriorating relations since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
How is the leaked audio perceived by other countries?
While Germany’s allies, like the UK, have not publicly criticized Germany over the leak, they maintain the importance of supporting Ukraine. However, former British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace commented that the incident showed Germany as “neither secure nor reliable.” The White House described the leak as a Russian attempt to sow discord among Kyiv’s western allies.
What actions are being taken following the leak?
The German government has initiated a swift investigation to determine how the conversation was intercepted and leaked. The defense ministry is treating the incident as an “exchange of ideas” and is reviewing security protocols. The incident has also prompted discussions on countering targeted disinformation, particularly from Russia.
What does Moscow say about the recording?
The Kremlin has suggested that the recording demonstrates plans by the German armed forces to launch strikes on Russian territory. Russia’s foreign ministry has demanded explanations from Germany, asserting the West’s involvement, including Berlin, in the conflict around Ukraine.
Is this incident linked to Russian spying activities in Germany?
Yes, the incident highlights the extent of Russian espionage efforts in Germany, especially given the latter’s role as a significant provider of military hardware to Ukraine. The leak follows several arrests in Germany related to suspicions of spying for Russia.
How is this affecting the West’s unity against Russia?
Despite the leak, Western allies continue to express support for Ukraine. However, Russia aims to use such incidents to create divisions and undermine the collective support for Ukraine. The White House and other Western officials emphasize the importance of remaining united and cautious of misinformation.
(With inputs from agencies)



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