Skip to Content

Germany to investigate after leaked recording emerges of secret army talks on Ukraine

By Xiaofei Xu and Sophie Tanno, CNN

(CNN) — Germany says it will investigate after a recording leaked of a conversation between several top-ranking German officers on the country’s Ukraine war strategy.

During the conversation, posted online by the head of Russia’s state-backed RT channel, Margarita Simonyan, air force officers discuss the possible delivery of Taurus weapon systems to Ukraine as well as the potential targeting of the Kerch Bridge, which connects the annexed Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the leak a “very serious matter.”

“It will now be investigated very carefully, very intensively, and very quickly,” Scholz promised while on a visit to Rome on Saturday.

A spokesperson of the German Defense Ministry confirmed to CNN the recording was authentic.

“According to our assessment, a conversation in the air force sector has been intercepted. We are currently unable to say with certainty whether changes have been made to the recorded or written version circulating on social networks.”

The audio discussion centers around providing air force support for the delivery of long-range Taurus missiles, as well as how the systems could be used by Ukraine, with one officer speaking of a “long” and “short” path to implementation.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius suggested a certain “choreography” in the incident, referring to to the date that the audio was leaked – on Alexey Navalny’s funeral – as well as comments from Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev, known for using inflammatory language, alleged that the 38-minute long conversation showed that Germany was preparing war against Russia.

“The whole thing doesn’t just seem to be, but is, choreography,” said Pistorius. “A few hours, I believe, after this recording was published, by none other than one of Vladimir Putin’s chief propagandists, this report [of Medvedev’s reaction] emerged.”

“It is highly unlikely that they reacted so quickly, so it was certainly coordinated and choreographed, and is intended to reinforce the myth that we are working on a war against Russia, which is completely absurd,” Pistorius said.

Pistorius also alleged the release of the hack was part of a Russian campaign to destabilize confidence.

Germany has been resisting sending the Taurus system to Kyiv, fearing they could be used for attacks on Russian territory. 

Officers can be heard discussing the potential targeting of the Kerch bridge using Taurus missiles, with one stating that the Taurus has the potential to reach the bridge despite it being a difficult target, as well as ammunition depots.

Moscow said it was seeking answers over the recording.

“We demand explanations from Germany. Official Berlin has to provide them promptly. Any attempts to evade answering questions will be viewed as an admission of guilt,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel Friday.

The audio has caused alarm among German politicians.

Roberich Kiesewetter of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told public broadcaster ZDF that a “number of other conversations will certainly have been intercepted” and could be leaked at a later date, Deutsche Welle reported.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - World

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content