Russia-Ukraine War: Shocking Audio Of German Army Officers Discussing Crimea Strike Sparks Tensions (LISTEN)

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In a startling development, Margarita Simonyan, the head of Russia's state-backed RT channel, released a 38-minute audio recording purportedly featuring German army officers discussing a potential strike on Crimea. The recording, posted on February 19, stirred diplomatic tensions and prompted swift investigations. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz affirmed that the matter was under intense scrutiny, emphasizing its gravity during his visit to Rome.

"What is being reported is a very serious matter and that is why it is now being investigated very carefully, very intensively and very quickly," Scholz said.

The discussions captured in the audio centered on the possible deployment of German-made Taurus missiles by Ukrainian forces, with mentions of targeting strategic locations like the Kerch strait bridge, linking the Russian mainland to Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. Furthermore, deliberations extended to the utilization of missiles supplied by France and Britain.

Experts consulted by Der Spiegel affirmed the authenticity of the recording, prompting a swift response from the German defense ministry, which launched an inquiry into potential interceptions in the air force sector.

The recording's emergence has reignited debates over Germany's military support to Ukraine. While Kyiv has long sought Taurus missiles, Germany has refrained from providing them, citing concerns over exacerbating the conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov interpreted the recording as evidence of Ukraine and its allies' uncompromising stance against Russia.
Lavrov said the recording indicates that Ukraine and its backers "do not want to change their course at all, and want to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield."

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded that Germany "promptly" provide explanations for the discussion. "Attempts to avoid answering the questions will be regarded as an admission of guilt," she said.

Reacting to the development, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev condemned Germany, branding them as "sworn enemies" in a Telegram post.

The acquisition of Taurus missiles would significantly bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities amid Russia's invasion, a move feared by some German officials for its potential to escalate tensions.

As Ukraine contends with Russia's invasion, acquiring German Taurus missiles could significantly enhance its defense capabilities.

While France and Britain have provided Kyiv with SCALP or Storm Shadow missiles, boasting a range of approximately 250 kilometers, Germany, as stated by Scholz last week, cannot rationalize mirroring the actions of its British and French counterparts by sending long-range missiles to Ukraine and endorsing the deployment of such weapon systems.

"This is a very long-range weapon, and what the British and French are doing in terms of targeting and supporting targeting cannot be done in Germany," Scholz said, without specifying exactly what he meant.

Britain refuted any direct involvement in the operation of the missiles.

"Ukraine's use of Storm Shadow and its targeting processes are the business of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," a Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.

Roderich Kiesewetter, a member of Germany's opposition conservatives, cautioned that additional recordings could also be leaked.

"A number of other conversations will certainly have been intercepted and may be leaked at a later date for Russia's benefit," he told broadcaster ZDF.

It can be assumed "that the conversation was deliberately leaked by Russia at this point in time with a specific intention", namely "to prevent Taurus delivery by Germany", he said.

According to Der Spiegel, the videoconference took place not on a secret internal army network but on the WebEx platform.

Scholz has thus far declined to dispatch the missiles, apprehensive that it could exacerbate the conflict.

"If this story turns out to be true, it would be a highly problematic event," Green party politician Konstantin von Notz told the RND broadcaster.


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