Bundeswehr officer’s unexpected explanation for spying for Russia at trial

A Bundeswehr officer, who appeared in court on April 29 on charges of spying for Russia, said he took the step allegedly out of fear that the war in Ukraine would lead to a nuclear escalation. This was reported by Spiegel.

At a trial in Dusseldorf, the 54-year-old man admitted that he had passed military information to Russia and said he did so out of fear that Russia’s war in Ukraine would lead to a nuclear escalation. 

He claims that he hoped to find out in advance “when it will explode” through contacts with the Russian side in order to “protect his family in time.” The officer says that he now regrets his actions and realizes that it was a mistake, but at the time he was in a very bad psychological state. 

This is yet another confirmation of the impact that Russian propaganda has on the minds of Europeans. After all, nuclear blackmail and fear mongering around a break-up of World War III are among the Kremlin’s favorite techniques, leveraged by all actors, from ordinary TV propagandists, like Solovyov, to the political leadership, including Dmitry Medvedev.

The Bundeswehr officer who went on trial claimed that he watched a video “possibly on TikTok,” in which he followed a pro-Russian blogger associated with the far-right Alternative for Germany, giving him the idea to contact the Russian consulate. However, he could not say for sure what kind of content it was. 

Around that time, he expressed a desire to join the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany, and in July 2023, the party approved his application for membership.

The far-right AfD is known to have expressed pro-Russian views. Russian interference in European political processes and the spread of its propaganda have recently engulfed MEPs from the AfD in a scandal linked to the Voice of Europe platform.

In 2023, the German authorities arrested the officer in Koblenz and searched his home and workplace. The prosecutor’s office filed charges in March of this year.

The accused, who holds the rank of captain, worked for the Bundeswehr Federal Office for Technology, Information Technology, and Service Support (BAAINBw), as we reported earlier.

The institution, based in Koblenz, is responsible for equipping the German armed forces with equipment and weapons, as well as for the development, testing, and procurement of defense technologies.

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