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1 Mar, 2024 09:04

German army discussed strike on Crimean Bridge, leaked audio purportedly indicates  

Kiev has long sought to destroy the critical Russian infrastructure, with two bombings damaging the bridge in the past two years
German army discussed strike on Crimean Bridge, leaked audio purportedly indicates  

German military leaders allegedly discussed an operation to bomb the Crimean Bridge, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan claimed on Friday, citing audio leaked by Russian security officials.

The recording purportedly features a 40-minute conversation between high-ranking Bundeswehr officers, Simonyan said on social media.

They discussed how to carry out the attack while maintaining plausible deniability for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to her account of the conversation.

They also remarked that the German military was keeping its distance from the Ukraine conflict, unlike the American and the British, who they said had been “directly involved for a long time,” Simonyan claimed.

She did not publish the audio, but said she was tempted to do so.

Requests for comment have been sent to German officials, including the ambassador, the foreign ministry, and the chancellor’s office, Simonyan added.

The German media now have “a good reason to show their independence and ask questions” of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said, reacting to the post.

The Crimean Bridge is the largest structure of this kind in Europe and was built to connect the Russian peninsula to Krasnodar Region across the Kerch Strait. Before hostilities with Kiev broke out in February 2022, it was the only land connection between the former part of Ukraine and the rest of Russia.

Kiev executed two bombing attacks on the bridge in October 2022 and July 2023, using a truck and naval drones. Civilians were killed on both occasions. Ukrainian officials claim that destroying the bridge has a military purpose.

Some Western officials have made similar arguments, such as former US defense secretary and CIA director Roberts Gates in an interview with the Washington Post last week.

“If you want to give the Russians a pause, if you want to interrupt that sense of momentum that they have, why not be able to do things like drop the Kerch Strait Bridge?” he said.

Gates urged Western donors to give Ukraine the capability to do that, saying a successful attack would hurt the Russians “psychologically as well as militarily.”

Earlier this week, Scholz angered the UK and France when he implied that Western military personnel were directly involved in Ukraine’s use of advanced weapons supplied by those nations, according to Politico. This is one of the reasons why Berlin would not donate Taurus long-range missiles to Kiev, he told the press.