German reserve officer sentenced for espionage for Russia

A German Bundeswehr reserve officer named Ralph G. was convicted of working as a Russian spy. He received a one-year, nine-month sentence with nine months suspended.

Bundeswehr reserve officer provided to Russians a secret military information

The officer sent the Russian military attaché information about the German military, the Bundeswehr reserve system, the effects of EU sanctions against Russia, and cyber information from 2014 to 2020, according to a report by Deutsche Welle. In court, the officer admitted guilt.

Convicted officer sentenced to 21 months of suspended imprisonment

The Supreme State Court in Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia) sentenced a reserve officer of the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, to one year and nine months of suspended imprisonment on November 18. Ralph G., 65 years old, from the town of Erkrath near Düsseldorf, was found guilty of intelligence work for Russia.

According to the presiding court, his motivations were “an extremely favorable attitude toward Russia and a desire to achieve recognition and status among the Russian military.”

The accused was ordered by the prosecutors to serve two years of conditional jail and pay a fine of €25,000. His lawyer urged an acquittal, saying the material provided was not confidential and was in the public domain.

The convict sent the Russian military attaché information about effects of EU sanctions against Russia

However, the investigation revealed that the defendant sent the Russian attaché the information from the German Defense Ministry’s White Book, the primary unclassified document outlining the objectives, duties, and organizational structure of the German army, even before it was formally published.

Another Russian spying incident involving Germany surfaced at the end of January. An employee of the Russian consulate in Munich was proclaimed persona non grata for spying. The accredited diplomat served as a liaison for a Russian scholar whose arrest on espionage charges had been publicized the day before. The academic was a member of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

According to Der Spiegel, the expulsion occurred soon after Ilnur N., an Augsburg University researcher suspected by prosecutors of providing intelligence regarding Europe’s Ariane space launch system to the SVR, was detained in the summer of 2021.

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