14 Apr 2022 8:15 p.m
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns of alleged false news from the Russian embassy since the beginning of the Ukraine war. The domestic secret service worries about the consequences for the internal security of the Federal Republic.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is concerned about the internal security of the Federal Republic of Germany due to the spread of alleged false news by the Russian embassy. In the current security advice from the authority on the war in Ukraine, the latter claims that Moscow’s foreign mission “apparently aware” of the actual extent of attacks and discrimination against people of Russian origin in Germany on its website and in the social networks, and in doing so, fall back on “unverifiable allegations”.
This could contribute to “additionally fueling the already emotionally charged social situation, especially within the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Germany”. The domestic secret service also pointed out that actions such as the car parade through Berlin, which was directed against discrimination against Russian-speaking people, as well as reports and images of war crimes could create “additional tensions”. The Handelsblatt had previously reported on the warnings from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
The Russian embassy has set up an “SOS” e-mail account on its website, which is due to the “mass messages from Russian-speaking citizens living in Germany who report discrimination because of nationality and language and in many cases ask for support and protection request”. According to the Permanent Mission, “verbal abuse, threats, physical violence, bullying at educational institutions, damage to property, denial of services, including medical care” were reported and published on the website under the hashtag #StopHatingRussians.
Members of the Greens and the FDP also took up the allegations of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: Konstantin von Notz (Bündnis90/Die Grünen) explained to the Handelsblatt that “obviously” since the Ukraine war, the representations abroad have also been instructed to use the “fake news” of the Russian government to spread yourself. The FDP politician Konstantin Kuhle said that the representatives of the Russian state would spread their lies in Germany and thereby “purposefully sow discord in society”.
“The federal government can respond with further expulsions of Russian diplomats and should reserve this step for the further dissemination of targeted disinformation.”
Kuhle also said that nobody in Germany should be discriminated against because of their origin or their language.
“Of course, this also applies to people who immigrated to Germany themselves or their ancestors from Russia,” says Kuhle.
Nevertheless, according to Kuhle, the warnings from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution “hit the mark”. The Russian Embassy stated in connection with the allegations by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution:
“It is one of the central tasks of every diplomatic mission to protect the rights and interests of fellow citizens in the country of residence.”
The Russian embassy also pointed out that the violations of the law had been confirmed by the Federal Criminal Police Office. However, it is not her intention to politicize the problem, let alone to heat up “the emotionally charged social situation”.
“We want to support Russian-speaking citizens, in particular by bringing their legitimate interests into the focus of the federal government and law enforcement agencies. This work is producing concrete results. The Embassy takes note of statements by the German leadership that there is no place for everyday Russophobia in of the Federal Republic of Germany. The embassy appreciates the constructive cooperation with German law enforcement authorities.”
The insinuation that the embassy would spread fake news to destabilize German society is firmly rejected. Threats made by some German politicians against the diplomatic institution are also “completely unacceptable”.
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