20 April, 2024
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While Germany plots to bomb Crimean Bridge, London pushes Berlin to send Taurus missiles for hitting Russia

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While on March 1, 2024, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan claimed citing audio leaked by Russian security officials where the 40-minute conversation between high-ranking Bundeswehr officers discussing how to carry out the attack targeting Crimean Bridge while maintaining plausible deniability of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

According to Margarita Simonyan, in the conversation German military officers also remarked that they were keeping distance from the Ukrainian conflict, unlike American and the British, who they said had been directly involved for a long time.

Simonyan did not publish the audio, but said 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, she 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 Margarita Simonyan’s post.

Meanwhile, according to RT, 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.

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 claimed 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.

Roberts 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”.

According to media reports, the individuals identified in the transcript include General Ingo Gerhartz, the commander of the German Air Force, along with other leaders responsible for mission planning. The purported conversation occurred on February 19, as per the leaked source.

According to the transcript, the officers deliberated on the effectiveness of the Franco-British cruise missiles – Storm Shadow by the UK and SCALP by France. Both countries reportedly supplied some of these missiles to Ukraine. Additionally, Kiev had requested Germany to provide Taurus missiles.

The discussion revolved around whether the Taurus missiles were suitable for targeting the Crimean Bridge, a crucial infrastructure connecting eastern Crimea to the Krasnodar Region across the Kerch Strait. The officers debated the need for additional satellite data and the potential deployment of French Dassault Rafale fighter jets, estimating a month-long preparation period for a successful attack.

The transcript details discussions on practical preparations for deploying Taurus missiles, including training Ukrainian military personnel and adapting Ukrainian military aircraft for German weaponry. Concerns were voiced about the risks of expediting the process, particularly regarding potential civilian casualties.

In assessing intelligence gathering for missile targeting, General Gerhartz purportedly suggested relying on individuals in Kiev with American affiliations to provide cover for German involvement.

Last week, German Chancellor Olaf 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.

Olaf Scholz said that he was reluctant to send the Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine due to their range being long enough to hit Russian territory if used incorrectly. He said it was fraught with making Germany a party to the conflict with Russia.

UK ministers and other high-ranking officials have repeatedly given Berlin to understand that Ukraine needed its Taurus missiles badly, Bloomberg cited its sources as saying. London has even proposed several compromise solutions, such as sending Ukraine its own long-range Storm Shadow missiles and then replenishing the stock by buying Taurus missiles from Germany, the report read.

At the same time, some UK politicians and lawmakers have been vocal with their criticism of Scholz’s stance and also of his comment to the effect that, that unlike the UK and France, which provide Ukraine with training to operate long-range missiles, Germany would not do it and no German soldier would set foot on Ukrainian soil.

Earlier in February, the German parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favor of a draft resolution submitted by Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens on the supply of long-range weapons systems to Ukraine to destroy strategic targets in Russia’s rear. However, the Taurus missiles are not mentioned in the document.

The main issue with the supply of Taurus missiles is their range of 500 kilometers (311 miles), which makes them capable of striking deep into Russian territory. Berlin has previously not supplied Kiev with weapons with similar characteristics.

The German expert community has even discussed whether the missiles could be programmed so that they could not be used to strike the Russian territory. It was precisely this issue that interested Scholz, and therefore negotiations were allegedly held with representatives of the military industry, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

Earlier controversy arose following sabotage at Nord Stream, where US President Joe Biden initially attempted to put the allegations on Russia, although later it was revealed Biden was aware of this hydro-terrorist act and several intelligence sources claimed it was Washington which was behind this.

US President Joe Biden said on Feb 7, 2022, less than three weeks before the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, that Washington would “bring an end” to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia goes ahead with its “special military operations”. “I promise you, we will be able to do it”, he told reporters, without elaborating.

The explosions in September 2022 that crippled the Nord Stream pipelines, which used to supply natural gas to Germany and some other European countries through the Baltic Sea, were a deliberate attack on Germany’s and the European Union’s critical infrastructure. Many considers it as an act of war.

While Russia has repeatedly called for investigation into the matter, according to media reports, European Union nations were reluctant in finding Nord Stream saboteur.

Commenting on it China Daily said, EU’s lack of courage to identify the culprit, despite Sweden, Denmark and Germany conducting separate probes, is not only shocking, it has also fueled wild speculation that a country deemed friendly to Germany was involved in the sabotage. Sweden closed its investigation earlier in February 2023, and Denmark later announced that it, too, had closed its probe, further fueling such speculation.

EU and German leaders hardly talked about the explosions anymore, which is strange because Germany and some other European countries were forced to buy natural gas from the United States at higher costs. Their silence is deafening given their usually strident response to the slightest assault on the EU or any of its members from a country that is not a US ally.

According to The Guardian, German investigators have focused on a 51ft rental yacht called the Andromeda, which was hired by a mysterious crew of five men and one woman, at least some of whom were travelling on false passports.

German newspaper Der Spiegel, which recreated the Andromeda’s journey, quoted investigators as saying the evidence all pointed at Kyiv’s involvement. There is debate, however, over whether a small crew of divers operating from a pleasure yacht would have been capable of carrying out the difficult, deep and slow dives necessary to place the explosives.

 

A leaked US defense document, reported by the Washington Post, showed the CIA had been tipped off by an allied European agency in June 2022, three months before the attack, that six members of Ukraine’s special operations forces were going to rent a boat and use a submersible vehicle to dive to the seabed using oxygen and helium for breathing, in order to sabotage the pipeline. But the leaked US document said the planned operation had been put on hold.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan deserves appreciation for publishing this extremely worrisome details on German plot of bombing the Crimean Bridge. In my opinion, this surely is tantamount to international terrorist plot, for which Moscow should hold Berlin accountable. At the same time, as American presidential election is getting nearer, investigative journalists throughout the world need to focus of finding further details of Nord Stream sabotage and identify perpetrators of this hydro-terrorism. For the sake of global peace, exposing individuals or parties behind such extreme notoriety is essential.

The post While Germany plots to bomb Crimean Bridge, London pushes Berlin to send Taurus missiles for hitting Russia appeared first on BlitZ.

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