What has emerged so far — RT World News

What has emerged so far — RT World News

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Luftwaffe generals have allegedly talked about secretly helping Ukraine bomb the Crimean Bridge

Moscow will demand an explanation from Berlin about alleged plans to provide Taurus missiles to Ukraine and help the Ukrainians strike the Crimean Bridge and other targets, senior Russian officials said on Friday.

RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published a transcript of the conversation between senior Bundeswehr officers discussing the matter, followed by a 38-minute audio recording. The German government has yet to respond.

Here is what we know so far.

A transcript and an audio recording, made public

Simonyan posted the transcript of the February 19 phone call on her VK page, identifying the participants as the head of the German air force (Luftwaffe), General Ingo Gerhartz, the branch’s deputy chief of staff for operations, Brigadier-General Frank Graefe, and two others.

Soon afterward, Simonyan published the audio recording of the discussion as well, in German, on her Telegram channel.

What was said in the call

The officers discussed the operational and targeting details of Taurus long-range missiles that Germany was debating sending to Ukraine, as if this had already been agreed upon – and how to maintain plausible deniability so that Germany could avoid crossing the “red line” of direct involvement.

Gerhartz brought up various “tricks” that the Luftwaffe could use, including relying on “many people [in Ukraine] in civilian clothes who speak with an American accent,” but Graefe insisted that “there is no language that makes us a party to the conflict.”

Other officers spoke about providing the Ukrainians with both the missiles and the training to use them, as well as the satellite targeting information, possibly via Poland.

Obsession with the Kerch Strait Bridge

The Germans noted the Ukrainians’ fixation on the Crimean Bridge, mainly for political reasons. They noted that the bridge was sturdy enough that not even 20 missiles would be able to destroy it. The 50 or so missiles Berlin could provide Kiev – in batches – “won’t change the course of the war,” Gerhartz himself admitted.

Russian reactions

“We demand an explanation from Germany. Official Berlin must provide it immediately. Attempts to dodge the question will be considered an admission of guilt,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that NATO had “egg on its face” due to the recording. He also noted that the German officers knew perfectly well that they were discussing direct involvement, as evidenced by attempts to disguise or hide it, and highlighted the part about Americans operating in Ukraine.

Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said the legislature will address the recording when it reconvenes on March 11. The matter “deserves the most serious discussion” and Moscow certainly needs to “send a demand to the Bundestag to conduct an investigation,” he added.

Germans have “once again turned into our archenemies,” said former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “Just take a look at how thoroughly and in what detail the Krauts are discussing long-range missile strikes on Russia’s territory, and are picking out targets and the most workable ways to harm our Motherland and our people.” He ended his post with the WWII-era slogan, “Death to the Fascists!”

Western reactions

When asked about the recording and the transcript on Friday, the Pentagon declined to comment, telling American reporters to reach out to the German military instead.