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Germany will investigate Russia's apparent objection to military talks on Ukraine Germany

Germany will investigate Russia's apparent objection to military talks on Ukraine  Germany

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised a full investigation after an alleged recording of secret military conversations about the war in Ukraine was circulated on Russian social media, causing major embarrassment to Berlin.

A German Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed to AFP that the ministry believed a conversation had been “intercepted” in the air force division. “We cannot currently say with certainty whether changes have been made to the recorded or written version circulating on social media,” they said.

Margarita Simonyan, a journalist for Russian state television and head of Russia Today, posted an audio file on her Telegram channel that she claimed revealed German officers “discussing how to strike the Crimean Bridge,” which connects Russia to the Ukrainian peninsula it has seized and annexed. In 2014.

Participants on the call also appear to be discussing the possibility of delivering Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev, something Shultz has so far publicly rejected. They also talk about training Ukrainian soldiers and possible military targets. Kiev has long called on Germany to supply it with Taurus missiles, which can reach targets up to 500 kilometers (300 miles) away.

Reuters listened to the 38-minute recording but was unable to independently confirm its authenticity.

Schulz, speaking during a visit to Rome, described the potential leak as “extremely serious” and said it was “now being clarified very carefully, very intensively and very quickly.”

The Russian embassy in Berlin did not respond to an email request for comment on Saturday regarding the potential espionage allegations. “We demand an explanation from Germany,” a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on social media on Friday, without providing details of its own concerns.

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The German channel ARD described the leak as a “disaster” for the German intelligence services.

According to Der Spiegel, the video conference was held on the WebEx platform, not on a secret army internal network.

“If this story turns out to be true, it will be a very problematic event,” Green Party politician Konstantin von Notz told RND radio.

Speaking to a diplomatic forum in Turkey on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the recording indicated that Ukraine and its backers “do not want to change course at all, and want to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield.” “.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on Germany to provide “immediate” explanations for the discussion. She added: “Attempts to avoid answering questions will be considered an admission of guilt.”

“Our old adversaries – the Germans – have once again turned into our sworn enemies,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now vice president of the Security Council, said on the Telegram app.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, head of the German parliament's defense committee, said Moscow's intention was “clear.” It said Schulz had been “warned against” supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

“We urgently need to strengthen our security and counter-intelligence, because it is clear that we are vulnerable in this area,” she told Funke Media Group.

Roderich Kieswetter, from Germany's opposition Conservative Party, warned of the possibility of more recordings being leaked, telling the Handelsblatt newspaper that he considered the reports to be true.

“Russia is of course showing the extent of its extensive use of espionage and sabotage as part of hybrid warfare,” he was quoted as saying. It is expected that a lot will be intercepted and leaked in order to influence decisions, distort people’s reputations, and manipulate them.”

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With AFP and Reuters