What's in the 38-minute tape Putin allegedly leaked to 'destabilise' Germany? | World News - Hindustan Times
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What's in the 38-minute tape Vladimir Putin allegedly leaked to 'destabilise' Germany?

Mar 03, 2024 10:43 PM IST

German army discussion leak aimed at unsettling Berlin, says defence minister, accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Germany on Sunday accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of attempting to sow disunity through the wiretap leak of a confidential German army discussion on the Ukraine war, particularly at a time when Berlin faces pressure to supply the Taurus missile to Kyiv.

Germany accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of sowing disunity with leaked wiretap on Ukraine war. (REUTERS/Anton Vaganov)
Germany accuses Russian president Vladimir Putin of sowing disunity with leaked wiretap on Ukraine war. (REUTERS/Anton Vaganov)

"It is about using this recording to destabilise and unsettle us," said German defence minister Boris Pistorius, expressing hope that Putin would not succeed.

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"It is part of an information war that Putin is carrying out," he added.

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Russian media publishes the recording: What it reveals?

Russian media released a 38-minute call where German officers were reportedly discussing weapons for Ukraine and a potential strike by Kyiv on a bridge in Crimea.

This prompted Russian officials to seek an explanation.

Germany, on the other hand, labelled it an apparent act of eavesdropping and initiated an investigation.

The conversation in the recording also discussed the use of long-range missiles supplied to Kyiv by France and Britain. They also talk about the possible delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called it "cunning plans of the Bundeswehr (German armed forces), which became apparent due to the publication of this audio recording. This is a blatant self-exposure."

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said the recording indicated that Berlin was preparing to fight Moscow.

Why does Kyiv seek Taurus missiles?

Kyiv has time and again requested Germany to supply Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometres. The acquisition of German Taurus missiles would significantly enhance Ukraine's capabilities in war against Russia.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has, however, been hesitant to send these missiles, fearing it might escalate the conflict with nuclear-armed Russia.

While France and Britain have provided Kyiv with SCALP or Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of about 250 kilometres, the Taurus missiles would offer an extended reach.

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Why is Germany refusing to supply missiles?

Chancellor Scholz has said that Germany could not justify actions similar to those of Britain and France in providing long-range missiles to Ukraine and supporting the deployment of this weapon system.

"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.

Britain denied that it had any direct involvement in operating the missiles.

(Inputs from wires)

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