What is known about the leaked call of the German High Command regarding Ukraine and what can happen now

Last Friday, an extraordinary leak of an Internet call appeared in which the chief of the German Air Force and three subordinates participated, in which they discussed whether it would be possible to persuade Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was reluctant, to approve the delivery. long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, and whether the ammunition could blow up the strategic Kerch bridge linking Russia with occupied Crimea.

How did the leak reach the public domain?

Kremlin propagandist Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the international television network RT, enthusiastically circulated the 38-minute recording on social media last Friday. A day later, he offered to help Olaf Scholz get to the bottom of the leak, when the Chancellor announced an investigation into how recordings of top-secret conversations, which Berlin considered authentic, came into the public domain. Went.

The public nature of the leaks represents a change from Moscow’s previous operations, in which hacked information passed through non-Russian intermediaries such as WikiLeaks or was dumped on the Internet. Notably, this comes at a time of Scholz’s continued refusal to deliver the Taurus to Ukraine, which has an operational range of more than 300 miles compared to Kiev’s most effective long-range missile, the Franco-British Scalp/Storm Shadow. It is a range missile. With a limit equal to half.

“Plans for attacks against Russian territory are being discussed in a concrete and concrete manner in the internal organs of the Bundeswehr (German army),” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. Less restrained former President Dmitry Medvedev said, “Death to the German-Nazi occupiers!”

How shameful is this for Berlin?

Very. Secret conversations between military leaders should not be disclosed. The dialogue involves Luftwaffe chief Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz and three subordinates discussing the Taurus’ capabilities ahead of a half-hour meeting scheduled for the air force chief with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. Taurus and maybe change Scholz’s mind.

However, it has been said that this conversation did not take place through any military security mechanism, but through software Webex Video Conferencing Advertisement. One of the participants called from Singapore, which could have been a weak point. In any case, the call was intercepted and recorded, or a recording was obtained and given to RT, and part of the conversation was potentially embarrassing to the UK.

What do German forces say about the United Kingdom in Ukraine?

Gerhartz and his team discuss how far Germany can go in support of the Taurus, and whether Berlin would be required to provide precise targeting and scheduling information on the missiles it wishes to provide. They mention France and especially the United Kingdom, and point out that in the latter case there appear to be troops on the ground who help with reception and advise the Ukrainians on bombing decisions.

The German commander tells his subordinates on the call, “When it comes to planning missions, I know how the British do it.” In addition to working with advisers in their own country, the British “also have some people on the ground, they do this, the French don’t.” It is very rare to talk about the presence of British troops in Ukraine.

Are British troops secretly in Ukraine? How important is this?

The British Ministry of Defense has refused to specifically confirm whether British troops are assisting Ukraine with the use of Storm Shadow missiles, although there have been rumors for some time that this is the case. If true, and they still exist after the leak, the numbers are likely to be relatively low, although any assistance provided in targeting is another step towards involvement in the conflict.

A week earlier, Scholz himself had referred to the presence of British troops in Ukraine as helping in “target control” and said that he could not accept something like that for Germany, whether inside or outside the country, because he would endanger it. I believe in. Change Berlin to “war partner”. Russia was probably already aware of the British presence, through statements and leaks from Britain and its own intelligence services, and had not yet received a significant escalation from Moscow.

A close reading of parliamentary statements shows that Britain reopened its defense block in Ukraine in April 2022. A minister said in July 2023 that the UK has troops in the country to support the UK’s diplomatic presence in the country and our offer of training. Ukrainian Armed Forces”, while leaks revealed that the United Kingdom has 50 special forces in the country and that the Royal Marines have supported “discretionary operations” there, such as the reestablishment of the British Embassy in Kiev.

And now he?

Former insiders say they think the Defense Ministry will be irritated, but these leaks are so common that they are not harmful. Interestingly, the main thing Downing Street has done is not to complain, but to put pressure on Scholz again. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The United Kingdom was the first country to supply long-range precision missiles to Ukraine and we encourage our allies to do the same.”

The main advantage for Moscow is to try to publicly exploit the leak against the German Chancellor, who among other things will continue to receive Western and Ukrainian pressure to donate Taurus missiles as leaked calls say German experts That he believed between 10 and 20 might be able to blow up the Kerch Bridge.

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