Germany Investigates Allegedly Leaked Audio Of Soldiers Discussing Sensitive Military Aid

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John Oyewale Contributor
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German authorities accused Russia of wiretapping senior German soldiers discussing sensitive military aid to Ukraine and announced an investigation after the audio leaked in Russia, according to reports.

The high-ranking Luftwaffe officers allegedly discussed the idea of sending the bunker-busting long-range German-Swedish cruise missile, the Taurus, to Ukraine for possible use against the Kerch Bridge linking Russia to Russia-occupied Crimea, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported Saturday. “We’ve looked closely at the bridge,” one officer allegedly said, DW reported. “It is unfortunately like a landing strip due to its size. That means it is entirely possible we would need 10 or 20 missiles.”

“What’s been reported is very serious,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters, according to the DW. “That’s why it’s necessary to begin a very thorough, intensive, and rapid investigation.”

Margarita Simonyan, the head of Russian state-run media outlet RT, posted the leaked audio recording to social media, DW reported. She posted it on VKontakte, Russia’s Facebook lookalike, and on Twitter, and published a transcript.

The “head of the operations and exercises department of the German Air Force Command, [Frank] Graefe”, and “Air Force Inspector Ingo Gerharts”, among others, were alleged participants in the intercepted discussions, according to one of Simonyan’s tweets on the matter.

Responding to Scholz’s call for a rapid investigation, Simonyan appeared to mock the Chancellor, according to another tweet: “Contact us, we will help you find out.” The U.S. State Department described Simonyan in Aug. 2022 as  “[Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s loyal propagandist” and “adept at serving up lies as truths — and with a smile.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly weighed in on the matter. “I don’t know how to describe what happened,” he said, according to DW. “But our NATO colleagues are obviously involved, and I don’t know how they will explain that to their own population.” (RELATED: Putin Threatens Nuclear War If West Deepens Intervention In Russia-Ukraine War)

Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, hurried to plug the leak and was bothered about whether there were additional leaked conversations, the DW noted.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius called the leak “a hybrid disinformation attack” by Putin, according to the Washington Post.

“This is clearly about undermining our unity,”  he said, DW reported. “It’s about splitting our domestic politics apart. And I very much hope that Putin doesn’t manage that, and that we remain united despite any disagreements over the Taurus issue and all the questions that need to be answered.”

Scholz had been loathe to send the Taurus missiles to Ukraine despite pressure from allies, fearing Berlin could be drawn into the war in Ukraine, the Washington Post report noted.

Scholz recently differed with French President Emmanuel Macron, stating that NATO would not send troops to the war, according to Bloomberg. It reportedly signaled an apparent rupture in the two leaders’ relationship. Germany, nonetheless, reportedly is the second-biggest donor to Ukraine after the US.