Germany Accuses Russia of ‘Information War’ After Military Recording

Frankfurt, Germany — Germany’s defense minister said Sunday Russia was conducting an “information war” aimed at creating divisions within Germany, his first reaction to the publication in Russia of an audio recording of a meeting of senior German military officials.

Russian media published a 38-minute recording of a call Friday — in which German officers were heard discussing weapons for Ukraine and a potential strike by Kyiv on a bridge in Crimea — prompting Russian officials to demand an explanation.

On Saturday, Germany called it an apparent act of eavesdropping and said it was investigating.

“The incident is much more than just the interception and publication of a conversation … It is part of an information war that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is waging,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Sunday.

“It is a hybrid disinformation attack. It is about division. It is about undermining our unity.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied accusations of spreading false or misleading information when faced with allegations from other countries.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said on social media Friday, “We demand an explanation from Germany,” without detailing its concerns.

The Russian Embassy in Berlin has not responded to an emailed request for comment.

Participants in the call discussed the possible delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv, which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has publicly so far firmly rejected. They also talked about the training of Ukrainian soldiers, and possible military targets.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to journalists on Saturday about “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 Sunday the recording indicated that Berlin was preparing to fight Moscow.

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