Updated March 4th, 2024 at 08:53 IST

Germany Accuses Russia of Waging 'Information War' Against West After Military Secrets Leak

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius accused Moscow of waging an “information war” against the West.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius | Image:AP
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Berlin – Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius accused Moscow of waging an “information war” against the West. Pistorius's remarks came after the publication of an audio recording of a meeting between senior German military officials by Russian news outlets. On Friday, Russian media published a 38-minute recording of a call in which German officers were heard discussing the delivery of weapons to Ukraine and Kyiv's potential strike on a bridge in Crimea. The leak prompted Russian officials to demand an explanation from Germany over the matter.

While addressing the matter at a press conference held on Sunday, the German defence minister called it an apparent “act of eavesdropping” and insisted that the authorities are investigating the matter. “The incident is much more than just the interception and publication of a conversation … It is part of an information war that Putin is waging,” Pistorius explained to the local reporters, The Guardian reported. “It is a hybrid disinformation attack. It is about division. It is about undermining our unity," he added. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of spreading disinformation. On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry only demanded an “explanation from Germany” without stating much on the matter.  

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What was the call about? 

In the leaked telephonic conversation, the participants discussed the possibility of delivering Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv, which have been rejected by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on multiple occasions. For time immemorial, Ukraine has been asking Germany to provide it with Taurus missiles, which can reach targets up to 500km away. According to The Guardian, the discussions also included the mention of the use of long-range missiles that were provided to Ukraine by France and the United Kingdom. On Saturday, the German chancellor called the potential leak “very serious” and noted that the matter is “now being clarified very carefully, very intensively and very quickly”.

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Meanwhile, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council noted that the leaked audio indicated that Berlin was preparing to fight Moscow. However, Pistorius dismissed the allegation on Monday and insisted that the officers involved in the call made it clear at all times in the recording that “the line of war participation ... would not be crossed.”

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 08:51 IST