German politicians consider leaked air force talks to be Russia’s information warfare

Boris Pistorius, German Defense Minister, has commented on Russia’s interception scandal and the publication of a conversation between high-ranking Bundeswehr officers about Ukraine.

The German Defense Minister believes that Russian president Vladimir Putin is waging an “information war” and considers this leak to be a part of it. Tagesschau quoted Pistorius’ statement.

“It aims to spread disinformation, sow division, and undermine our unity. We must not fall for Putin’s tricks,” he emphasized.

Pistorius noted that it is necessary to respond calmly, “but no less decisively.”

In the next few days, he expects information about the investigation by the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) into the exact background of the incident. Only then will it be possible to make decisions about the consequences, including personnel.

The German Ministry of Defense has initiated an investigation to determine if they intercepted the conversations of Air Force representatives.

The Ministry of Defense later confirmed the interception.

An online conference of high-ranking Air Force officers, allegedly interceded by the Russians on February 19, was about preparing a 30-minute briefing for Defense Minister Borys Pistorius on the possibility of Taurus missile supply to Ukraine.

The German generals discussed the possibility of training Ukrainian personnel in Germany for the Taurus mission.

In relation to the scandal, a number of German politicians called for clarification of the situation with possible wiretapping and espionage in the ranks of the Bundeswehr.

The German Greens accuse Putin of trying to destabilize Germany.

Agnieszka Brugger, a Greens’ security policymaker, warned of further Russian subversive actions in the coming months after the Russian publication of a recording of an internal conversation between German Air Force officers. She said this in an interview with Spiegel.

“The events of the past few days show once again how Vladimir Putin is trying to exert a massive negative influence on our open society, especially in Germany, through disinformation, destabilization, and espionage,” said the deputy chairman of the Green parliamentary faction.

“This year, with many important elections, this threat will only intensify, so we must prepare for it much better in politics, media, and society. We, as a society, must become more resilient, stronger, and more secure,” Agnieszka Brugger added.

“It is right that the Military Counterintelligence Service is processing and looking into this incident. At the same time, regardless, it is clear that communication in the federal government, the authorities, and the Bundeswehr must be as secure as possible,” she emphasized.

Russian propagandists published a recording of German Air Force officers discussing theoretical options for using the Taurus cruise missile. They apparently communicated via the Webex platform.

The German Ministry of Defense launched an investigation into whether the intercepted conversations of air force representatives, who discussed the possible transfer of Taurus missiles to Ukraine to strike at Russian targets, were true. Later, it confirmed the interception.

This week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again ruled out sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine, claiming that this would mean that Germany would become a party to the war with Russia. He stated that Germany could not give Ukraine “weapons with a range of 500 kilometers, which, if misused, could reach the target in Moscow.”

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