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4 Mar, 2024 10:27

Leaked German call may help Russia track Western missile deliveries – The Times

The discussion involving top German officers on an unencrypted platform has elicited the censure of allies
Leaked German call may help Russia track Western missile deliveries – The Times

Revelations made by German military officials in a leaked recording of a conversation involving top officers may help Russian intelligence track the delivery of Western SCALP and Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, The Times reported on Sunday.   

Last week, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan released the audio recording of a conversation between officers of the German air force, the Luftwaffe, including its commander, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz. The German Defense Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of the audio, admitting that the conversation had indeed been intercepted and stating that an investigation into the matter is underway.  

Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the leak a “very serious matter” on Saturday, pledging to investigate it “very intensively, very carefully and very swiftly.” The incident also drew harsh criticism from a number of Western officials.  

The security breach alarmed Berlin and other NATO allies because the leaked data could help Russian intelligence “track and locate, potentially targeting, weapons movements in Western Europe and on Ukraine’s territory,” The Times said.  

The article pointed out that the officers had used standard WebEx video conference software that was not encrypted to discuss “highly sensitive military secrets” which, among other things, revealed details about the deployment of Storm Shadow missiles and confirmed the presence of the British military in Ukraine.

In the audio, Gerhartz noted that the UK had outfitted Ukrainian aircraft with Storm Shadows and could help with the transfer of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. The head of the Luftwaffe also explained how the French “send [Audi] Q7s loaded with SCALP missiles to Ukraine.”   

Germany has about 600 Taurus missiles and is considering sending 100 to Ukraine in two batches of 50, according to the released transcript. The intercept highlights the rift between the German military, which is prepared to send Taurus to Kiev and Scholz, who is blocking the move, the outlet claimed.   

“We know Germany is pretty penetrated by Russian intelligence so it just demonstrates they are neither secure nor reliable,” The Times quoted former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace as saying.  

Meanwhile, Russian officials have said that the presence of Western military personnel in Ukraine is “no secret” and that the Foreign Ministry was demanding an explanation from Berlin over the leaked recording.