Leaked Audio of German Generals Discussing Strike on Russian-Held Territory May Be Genuine

Leaked Audio of German Generals Discussing Strike on Russian-Held Territory May Be Genuine

What began as some German military officers speculating about what marvelously destructive things could happen if Germany gives Ukraine its long-range-Taurus missiles has mushroomed into a major embarrassment and security nightmare.

The conversation went from private to public when Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of Kremlin-operated RT, splashed a 38-minute audio tape and transcript all over the media, according to Newsweek.

Although there is no assurance that the tape was not altered, Germany’s reaction made it clear that officials believed the tape was at least based on a real call and that Russia had been eavesdropping.

“We are investigating whether communications in the Air Force sector were intercepted. The Federal Office for the Military Counterintelligence Service has initiated all necessary measures,” a representative of the German Ministry of Defense said.

“We are currently unable to say for certain whether changes were made to the recorded or transcribed version that is circulating on social media,” the representative said,  according to France 24.

The conversation speculated that the Kerch bridge connecting Russia with Crimea could be a target if the missile is used. The conversation, as issued, included a discussion of how Germany could deny responsibility for any attack and ways to divert suspicion from Germany should the attack take place.

Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of Germany’s parliament, said he believes the leak is real, according to Reuters.

“Russia is of course showing how heavily it uses espionage and sabotage as part of the hybrid war. It is to be expected that much more was intercepted and leaked in order to influence decisions, discredit and manipulate people,” he said.

A report by Politico last month said the political coalition currently ruling Germany is “splintering” over the issue of supplying the missiles to Ukraine.

Prime Minister Olaf Scholz has opposed giving Ukraine the missiles, which have a 300-mile range, out of fear that could lead to escalation, according to Reuters.

“That is why it is now being investigated very carefully, very intensively and very quickly,” Scholz said during a visit to Rome on Saturday.

Germany’s ARD broadcaster called the leak a “catastrophe” for Germany’s secret services, while Der Spiegel magazine said the intercepted video conference was on an unsecured WebEx platform, not Germany’s secure Army network, according to France 24.

“If this story turns out to be true, it would be a highly problematic event,” Green Party politician Konstantin von Notz said

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the defense committee in Germany’s parliament, said Russia’s game was “obvious” and that Scholz was being “warned against” giving Ukraine the missile.

“We urgently need to increase our security and counterintelligence, because we are obviously vulnerable in this area,” she told the Funke media group.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the leak revealed the “cunning plans of the Bundeswehr (German armed forces), which became apparent due to the publication of this audio recording. This is a blatant self-exposure,” according to Reuters.

An audio file purporting to be the conversation has been released on YouTube. Listeners are reminded that the conversation, in German, could have been edited.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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