German Ministry of Defence investigates possible wiretapping in the Air Force

German Ministry of Defence investigates possible wiretapping in the Air Force

Berlin, Germany (Svidomi) — Germany's defence ministry is to probe alleged wiretapping of internal air force conversations, Deutsche Welle reports

"The Federal Office for Military Counterintelligence (BAMAD) has taken all necessary measures," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence in Berlin responded to DW's comment.

The head of the Russian state propaganda broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, revealed a recording of an alleged "conversation" between German Air Force chief Ingo Gerhartz, head of operations and training Frank Grefe, and high-ranking officers of the Space Command's air operations centre named Fenske and Frostedte.

In Simonyan's words, this conversation took place on February 19, 2024, and concerns possible missile strikes on the Crimean bridge, which was built illegally to connect the territory of Russia and the temporarily occupied Ukrainian peninsula.

"We demand explanations from Germany. [...] Attempts to evade answers will be regarded as an admission of guilt," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response to the publication of the recording.

The German Ministry of Defence later confirmed that the conversation had been intercepted in the Air Force.

"We cannot say with certainty whether the recorded or written version circulating on social media has been altered," a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said

Chair of the German Bundestag Parliamentary Oversight Panel, Konstantin von Notz, called for clarification of reports that Russia had intercepted the air force talks.

"The question arises whether this is a one-off event or a structural security problem. I expect all preliminary information to be clarified immediately," von Notz said

The Ministry of Defence confirms that Air Force Inspector Gerhartz, among others, participated in the conversation. The published audio files could have served as preparation for a briefing for Defence Minister Borys Pistorius.

It will be recalled that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has once again justified the decision not to provide Ukraine with Taurus missiles, saying that Germany will not become a party to the war — "neither directly nor indirectly".