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Why Russia released recording of internal German Taurus conversation

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks against the backdrop of a Leopard 2 tank at the Bundeswehr military base in Bremen, October 2022
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks against the backdrop of a Leopard 2 tank at the Bundeswehr military base in Bremen, October 2022

A conversation between German Air Force officers intercepted by Russian intelligence services about the potential supply of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine became the controversy of the week in Germany.

The officers were discussing technical details of the possible supply of long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine. This is one of the most important topics in Germany’s political debate now. Here we have to look at the situation in context.

That is, not even what they said, because it’s obvious that they didn’t say anything incriminating. The military made a professional assessment of whether it’s possible to transfer the missiles, the legal and technical circumstances of such a transfer, what Ukraine could target with them, and how many missiles are needed to attack the Crimean Bridge.

Read also: German troops must not operate Taurus missile launches if transferred, Chancellor Scholz warns

The legal points are all clear because Germany is helping Ukraine in a defensive war: countering aggression is fair and legitimate both under international and German law. But then we come to the most interesting thing — why it was made public.

The Russians released it deliberately. Obviously, first, they show the ways they’ve infiltrated the German military. In doing so, this intelligence gathering channel has been burnt. In general, all communication systems in the Bundeswehr will be checked. That is, the Russians lost many opportunities to gather information. But they also achieved a lot in exchange.

This is a classic psyop

The Russians have activated all their supplicants, those who promote Russian narratives in Germany, consciously or otherwise. And now a bunch of politicians, mostly right-wing and left-wing, are crying out — what a horror, what a shame, they say, Germany was preparing a war and an aggressive attack on Russia. That is, the Russians threw a smoke bomb into the German political space, where Taurus missiles were already being actively discussed, that is now supposed to spoil this discussion and show the Germans that they need to stop, otherwise there will be a world war, a nuclear war.

That is, this is a classic psyop. And it’s not surprising that Russian chief propagandist Margarita Simonyan released the recording. The psyop is aimed at preventing the Germans from concluding a Taurus missile deal with Ukraine.

Will they succeed? Germany has different voices, not only the right-wing ones. The problem is that in recent weeks we’ve seen such an interestingly disgusting alliance, a de facto alliance, between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the far-right. Scholz’s position to never supply Taurus missiles differed sharply from that of the two government coalition parties, i.e. the Greens and the Liberals.

Read also: Ukrainian Air Force warns that public pressure will not speed up the delivery of Taurus missiles

There are three parties in government: the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the Liberals. Scholz belongs to SPD, whom he convinced to oppose arming Ukraine with Taurus. The Greens and the Liberals advocated the supply of Taurus missiles, but Scholz managed to persuade them, securing a vote in support of the government’s position. They’ve already voted twice against [the supply of] Taurus missiles so as not to annoy Scholz. And when you talk to them in private and ask them how it can be that you’re such hawks on TV, but when it comes to voting, it turns out that you’re quite dovish. They say that we don’t understand anything, promising to put pressure on Sholz on the sidelines and change the chancellor’s mind. Well, they’ve been convincing him for six months. No results. That is, Scholz keeps them under control. But rhetorically, they are his opponents.

Scholz has found a position that is supported by the radical right-wing opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which, according to opinion polls, currently has somewhere between 22-24% of public support, even more in certain regions. And now the entire AfD leadership publicly stands by Scholz saying how lucky we are to have such a wise chancellor who seeks peace, and not all those warmongers. The left-wing radical politicians do the same. Their ratings are not that high: 4−8% according to various polls. Scholz is supported by those 25-28% of radicals who respect Moscow, love [Russian dictator Vladimir] Putin, want Russia to win or for Russia to keep captured [Ukrainian] territories.

Read also: Russia likely has more intercepted conversations from German officials

A very interesting point: Scholz’s argument cannot be explained logically. His arguments are false. Both Taurus manufacturer and security experts spoke about it. We know that the British and the French transferred missiles [to Ukraine] without doing all the things that Scholz is talking about. And even German missiles were handed over to South Korea. That is, Scholz is lying, while all these SPD politicians around him who love Moscow, right-wing radicals, and left-wing radicals, all these communists support him in this. His own coalition parties don’t support him, but he found other allies.

There has been a lot of talk in the West in recent months that Russia may start attacking NATO countries. This discussion is also underway in Germany. Just several years ago, it was inconceivable to imagine that Germany will be talking about Russia as a probable enemy. It’s being discussed now. This is progress, but is it satisfactory? Of course not, because in addition to saying that Russia is an enemy, it’s also necessary to have some technical capabilities to do something with this enemy. The only thing saving us here so far is the Ukrainian army. But if we put aside that 99.99% of our defense is the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it’s clear that, despite all the problems with the German army and everything else, NATO countries have an absolute advantage over Russia, both in the number and quality of weapons, and the size and quality of the armed forces.

Read also: Macron has raised the stakes. Allied troops in Ukraine: to be or not to be?

I could repeat all the horror stories about Bundeswehr’s sorry state. Yes, we know that Russia’s technological prowess isn’t great either. In general, NATO has much more of everything. Will this prevent Russia from exerting further military pressure on Europe, NATO, and the West? Of course not.

Russia is confident that victory in the war against NATO will be achieved not on the battlefield, but on the field of psyops, that NATO will surrender without fighting. Moscow is counting on this. It counted on it in Ukraine as well, only to quickly realize its error. But the Kremlin thinks it’s a correct strategy in NATO’s case. Indeed, we see completely different attitudes in Germany than in Ukraine. If the absolute majority of the population in Ukraine says that it’s necessary to fight, despite how difficult it is, in Germany, only 14% are ready to fight for their country, according to a recent poll.

The Russians expect once they demonstrate they can attack and escalate to a nuclear conflict, Germany will say “no, we don’t need to fight, we don’t need NATO to protect us, because the war will be on our territory, and we don’t want that, we already had one and we don’t want to repeat it.” Thus, according to the Russians, they’ll achieve victory over a NATO country without the Russian army being defeated by objectively much stronger NATO militaries.

Here’s their deal. That’s why they release all these propaganda things about Taurus missiles, that’s why all these statements of [Russia’s Security Council Deputy Chairman and former President Dmitry] Medvedev and Putin, where they say that they are a nuclear power and will “destroy Germany,” etc.

Read also: Russian propaganda lists four German bridges as possible targets in response to Crimean Bridge strike

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine