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German blames audio leak scandal on officer’s use of unsecured line in Singapore hotel

German armed forces face scandal as a 38-min audio call exposes senior officers discussing Taurus cruise missile deployment to Ukraine. The breach occurred when an officer logged in from an insecure line at a hotel when he attending Singapore Airshow last month.



BERLIN, GERMANY:  The Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, has found itself entangled in a scandal following the leakage of an audio recording.

This recording unveiled discussions among senior German officers regarding the potential deployment of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, as part of preparations for an upcoming meeting with Defence Minister Boris Pistorius.

In response to the leak scandal, Pistorius addressed the public on Tuesday (5 March), asserting that an investigation conducted by Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service indicated that this incident was an isolated occurrence.

As reported by international news outlet Politico, Mr Pistorius explained that Russia intercepted the audio containing sensitive information from German military officers due to an “individual user error.”

One of the officers inadvertently logged in through an insecure line from a hotel room in Singapore, where he was attending an airshow.

Pistorius clarified, “Our communication systems were not compromised.”

The airshow in question was the Singapore Airshow 2024, held from 20 to 25 February.

The German defence chief further revealed that a preliminary investigation had been initiated into the conduct of the officers involved in the leak. Disciplinary actions may follow based on the findings of this investigation.

RT claims to have obtained the leaked audio from Russian security officials

Last Friday (1 March), Russia’s state-run media outlet Russia Today (RT) disclosed details of a 38-minute audio call dated 19 February involving senior German officers.

According to the leaked audio shared by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan on her Telegram channel and RT, the discussion involved four German senior officers, including purportedly Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, the commander of the German air force.

The audio begins with one of the officers inquiring about the whereabouts of Brigadier General Frank Gräfe during a conversation, who was reportedly in Singapore at the time, participating in an airshow.

The officers involved in the conversation, including the mentioned Brigadier General, discussed the possibility of Ukraine employing long-range Taurus cruise missiles against Russia if Berlin were to provide them.

Among various topics, officers speculated about a potential Ukrainian strike on the 18km Crimean Bridge connecting the peninsula with southern Russia and explored ways to plausibly deny Berlin’s involvement.

While WebEx, a communications program from U.S.-based Cisco Systems, offers end-to-end encryption for secure communications, it was noted that if a participant dials in via a landline instead of using the app, as was the case with the officer in Singapore, the encryption is not guaranteed.

Over the weekend, the German government confirmed the authenticity of the recording. Defence Minister Pistorius labelled it a “hybrid disinformation attack” by Russia, though the recording published by Moscow was not deemed fake.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is against sending the missiles, causing a rift in his governing coalition.

Amid concerns about the German military’s security protocols, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby commented this week that the leak was an “attempt by the Russians to sow discord and show division.”

Leaked audio discussed British and French cruise missile deliveries to Ukraine

The U.K. also expressed dismay in response to the leaked audio, wherein the officers discussed the British and French delivery of cruise missiles to Ukraine.

Brigadier General Gräfe purportedly mentioned, “…it’s about doing mission planning, I know how the English do it, they do it completely from the reachback. They also have a few local people, that’s what they do, the French don’t.”

This revelation follows Chancellor Scholz’s public confirmation that British troops are actively supporting Ukrainian forces in using Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

“Reachback” is a military concept denoting the transfer of intelligence, equipment, and support from rear positions to frontline units.

However, Gerhartz implied that the British methodology goes beyond conventional reachback, incorporating on-site support for a more immersive approach.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Pistorius reassured allies, stating, “The trust of allies in Germany remains unbroken,” during a press conference in Berlin.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan earlier claimed to have obtained the file from Russian security officials.

The Russian government’s lead spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, called for a comprehensive investigation into the recording and disclosed that the German ambassador to Russia had been summoned to explain the apparent plans to attack Russia.

“We are yet to find out if the Bundeswehr is acting on its own initiative. If so, the question is to what extent the Bundeswehr is controllable and to what extent Mr. Scholz controls it all, and whether it is part of Germany’s government policy,” Peskov stated, as reported by Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency.

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Singapore not there. Neh tries too hard.

Like wks, neh should go!

The “leak” isn’t the real scandal. The real scandal is that the German high command is even discussing attack scenarios on the Russians.

Wonder what other leaked videos The Russians Got???
I find this so damn funny. I hope they release a few.

I do not understand the leaders of the “West” and “NATO.”

Singapore has long been compromised with hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals. Unknown thousands of Russian nationals. North Korea is here too.

Construction is ultimately performed by migrant workers from distant lands. Singapore in short, is the perfect place for enemies of the west to spy on Western officials and leaders.

Yet they still send their people here. Perpetuating a “West-friendly” facade is one thing I can commend the ruling government on.

Hopefully these people will learn their lesson.

It seems like we are hitting the spotlight for the wrong reasons thanks to the airshow. So much of talking on weapons supply instead of initiatives to end the war. Is Asia falling into the trap of the WEST on weapons accumulation? All the billions of dollars could be used for the social needs of the respective countries.