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Media: German Defense Minister calls leaked German military audio 'disinformation attack'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 4, 2024 12:06 AM 2 min read
A South Korean Air Force F-15K fighter jet flying with a Taurus long-range air-to-surface missile during an exercise in Taean-gun, South Korea on Sept. 12, 2017. (South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius called the publication of a leaked conversation between German military officers a disinformation attack on March 3, according to German media.

An audio recording of a conversation between German Air Force officers about the delivery of Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine and the training of Ukrainian troops was published on March 1 by the chief editor of Russia’s state TV channel RT.

"This is a hybrid disinformation attack, it’s about division,” Pistorius said, according to the German television channel Tagesschau. “We must not fall for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”

German military officials have confirmed that a conversation between Air Force personnel was intercepted and that they have opened an investigation into the leak. The audio has been circulating on Russian propaganda channels.

Pistorius does not have any information about potential further leaks, but believes that most of the content of the conversation was already publicly known, according to Tagesschau. Germany’s military intelligence is expected to release an initial report about the incident early next week.

The wiretapping scandal comes as the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues to oppose Germany's provision of Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

Scholz is reportedly against sending Taurus missiles to Kyiv over fears the move will draw Germany into the war. Ukraine has received other long-range missiles, such as the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and the French-made SCALP.

Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), have been a subject of extensive discussion since Ukraine submitted a request to acquire the weapons in May 2023.

The U.K. government has discreetly urged Berlin to supply Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine, as Germany refuses to green light this critical capability, Bloomberg reported on March 1.

Germany investigates leaked recording of alleged discussion on missile supplies to Ukraine
In that recording, the interlocutors allegedly discussed the possibility of Ukraine using Taurus missiles to strike targets such as the Crimean Bridge and mentioned that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had not approved the transfer yet. They also said that Ukrainian soldiers could be trained to use th…
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