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Germany comments on Russian attack claim

Exploring a path that could lead to a conflict with Moscow is part of the “training,” a German Defense Ministry spokesman says

The German Defense Ministry has commented on a potential escalation between Russia and NATO after an article in Bild detailed how such a scenario could play out, citing a secret military document.

On Sunday, the German tabloid published what it called a month-by-month outline of a possible “path to conflict” between the West and Russia, showing that Moscow could supposedly launch an “open attack” on the US-led bloc as early as summer 2025.

Moscow has ridiculed the claims, calling them a “hoax.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday that he refused to “even comment on this report.” Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also brushed the claims off as a “last year’s powerful zodiac forecast.”


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A German Leopard 2 main battle tank shoots during a training exercise at the military ground in Ostenholz, northern Germany, on October 17, 2022.
Germany preparing for potential Russia-NATO war – Bild

When approached by Bild, a German Defense Ministry spokesman said that “considering different scenarios, even if they are extremely unlikely, is a part of everyday military business, particularly in training.” He did not provide any specific comments on the scenario described by Bild, nor did he confirm or deny that it was based on a secret Defense Ministry paper.

The tabloid itself has doubled down on its ‘Russian attack’ story, publishing another piece on Monday called “Putin’s attack [is] ‘closer than most people think.’” It extensively quotes Fabian Hoffmann, a research fellow at the University of Oslo, who claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that Moscow is supposedly planning a war of “intimidation” against the US-led bloc that would force it to abandon its Eastern members in the face of potentially unacceptable damage to its infrastructure.

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Servicemen of Russian Airborne Forces take part in a combat exercise at a training ground during Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Kremlin reacts to report of Russia preparing attack on NATO

NATO has “at best two to three years” to prepare for such a development, Hoffmann claimed. In December, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated that Europeans have five to eight years to prepare for potential “dangers.”

In November, German MP and a member of the nation’s delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Dr. Johann Wadephul warned that some units of the German Armed Forces – the Bundeswehr – would only last two days in the event of a full-blown conflict.

The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to attack NATO. Russia has for decades expressed its concerns about the US-led bloc expanding towards its borders, with Russian President Vladimir Putin citing Kiev’s desire to join NATO as one of the major reasons for the ongoing conflict.

January 16, 2024 at 05:01AM


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