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German ‘Plot’ to Bomb Crimean Bridge Sparks Moscow Meltdown

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Counterintelligence agents in Germany have sprung into action after one of Vladimir Putin’s top allies in the press published an audio recording on Friday that she claimed was a conversation between German generals plotting to blow up the Crimean Bridge.

The 38-minute audio clip, first shared by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, circulated simultaneously in Russia’s state-controlled media and among pro-Kremlin social media channels before prompting furious finger-pointing from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which said the supposed leak was proof that British and American troops are on the ground in Ukraine.

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, publicly demanded an “explanation” from Germany, noting that the lack of one would be seen as an “admission of guilt.”

The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be confirmed. But the Kremlin’s propaganda machine has been known to use audio of supposedly leaked top-secret conversations in the past to further Moscow’s agenda, famously releasing a shoddily produced, obviously scripted recording in 2015 they claimed was proof of the CIA plotting to shoot down flight MH17.

Moscow claims the conversation between Germany's “high-ranking officers” occurred on Feb. 19, with the discussion centered on blowing up the Crimean Bridge with long-range Taurus missiles. Incidentally, the supposed “leak” of such a conversation comes as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz faces increasing pressure to supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine, a move he has so far come out firmly against, warning that “if used incorrectly, [Taurus missiles] could reach a target in Moscow.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking at a conference in Turkey, claimed the German generals in the recording had specifically discussed how to deliver the Taurus missiles to Ukraine without anybody noticing, so as not to upset Scholz. “I don’t know how they will explain themselves to their population,” Lavrov said.

Kremlin-controlled media started churning out furious reporting on the scandal late Friday that included the names and photos of every single German officer Moscow said was involved in the discussion.

The German Defense Ministry, meanwhile, was quoted telling Deutsche Welle that the Federal Military Counterintelligence Service had “initiated all necessary measures” to investigate whether communications between military representatives had been intercepted.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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