Russia Publishes Leaked German Intelligence

What Happened:

A 38-minute conversation between German Air Force Chief Lieutenant-General Ingo Gerhartz and his officers was recorded by Russian intelligence services. According to Russia, the conversation “proves” the involvement of the West in the conflict. In terms of intelligence failures, this leak ranks among Germany’s most shameful in recent memory.

The call includes details regarding German Taurus missiles, U.S. training personnel, and other German concerns. Although the exact method by which the Russian intelligence services obtained the call is unknown, it is believed that the security holes in the provider’s system played a role.

The Details:

Part of the conversations recorded involved discussions of hitting the Kerch Bridge, which links Crimea to mainland Russia. For the Russians, it is as symbolic as it is strategic since it provides a critical supply link to Russian forces.

In a conversation between officers and Gerhartz, officers discussed targeting the bridge: “The bridge in the east is hard to hit; it’s a rather small target, but [German-made] Taurus [missiles] can do it; they can also hit the ammunition depots.”

Although the leak is embarrassing, it does not necessarily show any result of German involvement in the war. The Kremlin claims that this leak proves that Germany is untrustworthy to its allies in an attempt to make coordination between European countries more difficult. German political scientist Andreas Umland said, “No matter how much the Kremlin spins the scandal, it isn’t changing that much.”

Germany itself is less worried about the contents of the leak and more concerned with how the leak occurred in the first place. German officials claim the call took place on Cisco’s WebEx platform, which now has known security flaws that allow individuals to join calls as “ghosts.”.

What’s Next:

The leak has made German Chancellor Olaf Scholz look weak, according to Umland. The conversation about the Taurus missiles only being used with German assistance now looks like a lie. Ukraine has been asking Germany for the missiles so that they can strike deep into Russian-held territory. Germany withheld the missiles due to the claim that the missiles could only be operated with German assistance, which the leak would disprove.

Former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev stated, “This may decrease the coordination of Europe’s efforts; the Germans will be less trusted.” “[Scholz] most likely will hide his head in the sand even deeper,” he said. “I hardly believe in Berlin’s determination.”

Kyiv had been urging German officials to supply the missiles, but the German’s have been hesitant for a number of reasons. There are concerns over Russia capturing the missiles or deepening NATO involvement in the war. The leaked call also discusses “many people in civilian clothes that speak with an American accent,” which may partially confirm the secret about the presence of U.S. instructors in the region.

It is unknown whether this call will change any plans made about German aid to Ukraine.

The contents of the call can be found here.

Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.

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