Putin’s agents are trying to turn the Germans against the war in Ukraine: report
The pro-Putin operative with Kremlin links has joined forces with fringe political movements in Germany to try to steer Europe’s biggest economy away from its support for Ukraine.
“We have to stop being vassals of America,” German far-right politician Markus Beisicht told a rally in Cologne attended by more than 2,000 people aimed at pressuring Berlin to cut its support for Ukraine, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday. .
The report said Beisicht was one of many working in Germany for friendlier relations with Moscow amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, helping to lead a movement seeking to exploit the deep emotional ties between Russia and Germany in hopes that Europe’s leading economic powers would change. . course.
Those joining Beisicht include pro-Putin agents who have been linked to Moscow and factions of the German far-right movement, including a former Russian air force officer previously named Rostislav Teslyuk who resides in Germany as Max Schlund.
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In recent months, Schlund reportedly traveled to Russian-ruled eastern Ukraine and Moscow for a conference where President Vladimir Putin was the keynote speaker, a trip paid for by an agency of the Russian government.
The group is joined by leaders of Germany’s far-right faction, which has frequently used pseudonyms in both pro-Russia internet publications and at rallies in support of Russia in recent months.
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“Destabilizing the enemy from within through subversion is part of the Putin manual,” said Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” Fox News Digital told Fox News Digital.
Germany is the largest economy in the European Union and a leader in what has become a united Europe, a delicate coalition of countries that have so far been steadfast in supporting Ukraine. If the move to turn Berlin against Kyiv is successful, it will deal a critical blow to a country that relies on Western military aid to survive under onslaught by Russian troops.
“Russia is trying to break NATO but cannot use military force because that would trigger the collective defense clause, which sparked World War III,” Koffler said. “Thus, by order of Putin, a special strategy has been developed called ‘indirect action’, which Russia uses to target Germany and other NATO countries. It regularly infiltrates spies in these countries and recruits human resources within these governments to influence their policies on behalf of Russia and Putin.”
Germany has sent more than one billion euros in humanitarian aid, military equipment and advanced air defense systems to Ukraine since the start of the war, and opinion polls show that the majority of Germans still support Ukraine. But the poll also suggests that Germany’s military support for Ukraine could decline as Berlin tries to cope with the sharp rise in energy costs facing its citizens.
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Germany is also a unique opportunity for Putin to pit Europe against Ukraine, a country with deep historical and cultural roots and a population of several million Russian speakers.
The story comes after German authorities thwarted last month’s coup attempt by members of the far-right Reichsbürger movement, with the government claiming a “national terrorist organization” plotted to overthrow the German government and install “princes” linked to the old. German Party. Royal Family.
It was also less than a month after a German foreign intelligence officer was arrested on suspicion of treason, with prosecutors accusing the employee of passing “state secrets” to Russian intelligence.
According to Koffler, Russia’s experience in East Germany also gave the Kremlin a head start in waging such a campaign.
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“Germany is a special case where Russian intelligence services have a competitive advantage,” Koffler said. “While stationed in Germany during the KGB era, Putin ran a spy ring and gathered compromising information about government officials.”
As the war approaches its second year, Ukraine will continue to depend on support from Europe and a united United States. But as energy costs continue to rise, the pro-Putin movement in Germany threatens to take advantage of the economic situation and distance Berlin from Kyiv.
According to Koffler, the foundation for such success was laid by Moscow long ago.
“The Kremlin is now leveraging all the work that was done during the Cold War,” said Koffler. “Why do you think Germany has become dependent on Russian energy? Why has he always been soft on Russia? From an intelligence perspective, the answer is very clear.”