Putin’s agents are trying to turn the Germans against the war in Ukraine: report
Pro-Putin operatives with Kremlin ties are teaming up with fringe political movements in Germany to try to distance Europe’s largest economy from its support for Ukraine.
“We must stop being vassals of the Americans,” right-wing German politician Markus Beisicht told a rally of more than 2,000 people in Cologne, Reuters reported on Tuesday. .
Beyshit is one of a number of people working in Germany for friendlier relations with Moscow in the wake of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the report said, helping to lead a movement that seeks to exploit the deep emotional ties between Russia and Germany in the hope that Europe’s leading economic power will change. course.
Among those joining Beisicht are Putin supporters with ties to Moscow and factions of Germany’s far-right movement, including Rostislav Teslyuk, a former Russian air force officer who lives in Germany as Max Schlund.
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In recent months, it is reported that Shlund traveled to eastern Ukraine under Russian control and to Moscow for a conference where President Vladimir Putin was the keynote speaker. The trip was paid for by a Russian state agency.
The group is joined by the leaders of the German far-right factions, who often use pseudonyms both in pro-Russian Internet publications and in recent months in support of Russia.
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“Destabilizing the enemy from within through provocation is part of Putin’s playbook,” Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital.
Germany is the largest economy in the European Union and the leader of a united Europe, a thin coalition of countries that have so far supported Ukraine. If the attempt to turn Berlin against Kiev succeeds, it will deal a serious blow to the country, which depends on Western military aid to survive under attack from Russian forces.
“Russia is trying to break up NATO, but it can’t use military force because that would trigger World War III by triggering the collective defense clause,” Koffler said. “Thus, on Putin’s instructions, a special strategy called ‘indirect action’ was developed, which Russia uses to target Germany and other NATO countries. “He regularly infiltrates spies in these countries and collects human resources within these governments to influence their policies in favor of Russia and Putin.”
Germany has sent more than a billion euros in humanitarian aid, military equipment and advanced air defense systems to Ukraine since the start of the war, and polls show that most Germans still support Ukraine. But the poll also suggested that support for Germany’s military support for Ukraine could wane as Berlin tries to cope with the sharp rise in energy costs facing its citizens.
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Germany also provides a unique opportunity for Putin to pit Europe against Ukraine, which shares deep historical and cultural roots and has a population of several million Russian speakers.
The story comes after German authorities foiled a coup attempt last month by far-right members of the Reichsbürger movement, which the government says is planning to overthrow the German government and install a “prince” linked to the old government. German party. The royal family.
Less than a month has passed since a German foreign intelligence officer was arrested on suspicion of treason, after prosecutors alleged that the employee passed “state secret” information to Russian intelligence.
According to Koffler, Russia’s experience in East Germany also gives the Kremlin a reason to conduct such a campaign.
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“Germany is a special case where Russian intelligence services have a competitive advantage,” Koffler said. “During the KGB period, Putin engaged in espionage while in Germany and collected incriminating information about government officials.”
As the war approaches its second year, Ukraine will continue to depend on the support of a united Europe and the United States. But as energy costs continue to rise, the pro-Putin movement in Germany is threatening to take advantage of the economic situation to push Berlin away from Kiev.
According to Koffler, Moscow laid the foundation for such success a long time ago.
“The Kremlin is now benefiting from everything that was done during the Cold War,” Koffler said. Why do you think Germany has become dependent on Russian energy? Why has he always been soft on Russia? From an intelligence point of view, the answer is very clear.”