Germany Blames Human Error After Russia Hacks Call on Ukraine Missiles

LONDON — Germany said Tuesday that human error was to blame for Russia obtaining the recording of a phone call among senior German military officials discussing the supply of long-range weapons to Ukraine, denying its government communication systems had been compromised.

In the audio recording, published by the state-owned broadcaster Russia Today on Friday, four senior German officers — including the head of the air force — purportedly discussed supplying Taurus missiles to Kyiv.

Berlin has not disputed the veracity of the recording.

“Our communication systems are not and have not been compromised,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Tuesday at a news conference in Berlin.

“The reason that the phone call could still be recorded in the ranks of the air force is due to an individual application error. Not all participants adhered to the secure dialing procedure as prescribed. According to current knowledge, data was leaked from the participant in Singapore. He was connected via an unauthorized connection, i.e., virtually via an open connection,” Pistorius said.

The recording was published on the same day as the funeral of the late Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who died in unexplained circumstances two weeks ago in an Arctic prison.

Russian intelligence

The recording has prompted questions about what other intelligence Russia was able to gather, said Marina Miron, a defense analyst at King’s College London’s Department of War Studies.

“What we don’t know is what else do they know. This is the one call that they decided to reveal. And probably Russia knows about all [weapons] deliveries, where they are taking place. And this is very, very serious, specifically in terms of trust when it comes to intelligence sharing between Germany and other partner nations. And I think this, of course, plays into Russia’s hands. Because the idea is not to fight with NATO kinetically — an open war — but to destabilize the alliance from within,” Miron told VOA.

Taurus missiles

Germany has repeatedly refused to supply Ukraine with its long-range Taurus missiles since Russia’s 2022 invasion, citing the risk of escalation with Moscow. However, the audio recording suggested that senior military figures are in favor of supplying the missiles to Kyiv.

“What it shows to me is that there is some sort of a disagreement between the higher command and what they foresee as viable, as opposed to what the political leadership wants. Which calls into question, ‘What is the relationship there?’” Miron said.

In the recording, the officers speculated on whether the Taurus missiles could hit the Kerch Bridge that connects Russian-controlled Crimea to the mainland.

British involvement

The recording also suggested that British military personnel are in Ukraine teaching Kyiv’s forces how to operate the long-range Storm Shadow missiles provided by London.

The British government has not commented.

Russia claimed the recording showed the involvement of the “collective West” in the conflict.

“They constantly insist that the West is not at war with Russia, the West only supplies weapons. Then it turns out that there are Western citizens there [in Ukraine]. They say yes, but they are mercenaries. They retired from military service. Doubtful in the vast majority of cases,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry added that the audio proved Germany had not been fully “de-Nazified” — language strongly criticized by Berlin.

Germany has disputed Russia’s interpretation of the conversation, describing it as part of Moscow’s disinformation campaign.

“It is quite clear that such claims that this speech would prove that Germany is preparing a war against Russia is absurdly infamous Russian propaganda,” government spokesperson Wolfgang Buchner told reporters on Monday.

Missile impact

Russia fears that if Ukraine obtains long-range missiles from its Western allies, its logistics and supply lines could be severely disrupted, said Miron.

“I do not think that [German Chancellor] Olaf Scholz will allow Taurus missiles to be deployed to Ukraine.

“So, I think with the release of this recording, the Russians want to make sure this doesn’t happen, because with external pressure, Scholz was able to allow the Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine. And they just wanted to avoid such possibilities, because that would create some issues for the Russians,” Miron said.

your ad here

leave a reply: