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TASS analyzes world media reaction to leaked Taurus missile talk among Bundeswehr officers

In Germany itself, many news outlets described the incident as a major scandal that could impair Berlin’s reputation

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The leak of a conversation among senior Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) officers, who were discussing a potential Ukrainian strike on Russia’s Crimean Bridge using German-supplied Taurus missiles, has evoked a major response worldwide.

TASS has analyzed coverage of the developing story by over 150 media outlets from countries across the globe.

In Germany itself, many news outlets described the incident as a major scandal that could impair Berlin’s reputation. In particular, Stuttgarter Nachrichten noted that the incident brought shame on Germany’s security structures while Rhein-Zeitung stated that the leak evinces an irresponsible, cavalier attitude toward events in Ukraine even among the Bundeswehr’s senior officer corps.

The French media focused in particular on the damage caused to the reputation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz among his NATO allies. For instance, Le Figaro reiterated that, quite recently, attempting to substantiate his refusal to deliver long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, Scholz had disclosed classified military information about the presence of NATO weapons technicians on the frontline on Ukraine, thus putting his French and British partners in a tight spot. Now, the chancellor is being forced to put up even stronger defenses under a barrage of criticism from allies.

US media outlets concur that this was an unfortunate incident for the German military. That said, a number of newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, noted that due to the leaked conversation, the delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine is now becoming even less likely.

The British media is unanimous in pointing out that, as a result of the incident, London and other allies have begun to view Berlin as an unreliable partner. Some newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, echo German politicians who have already expressed concern that the scandal is merely the first in a long succession of humiliating leaks.

In China, the majority of media outlets think that Berlin lost face over the incident. For example, Xingdao Ribao notes that the German officers were discussing the details of potential military operations and strikes using Taurus missiles even as the German chancellor was publicly ruling out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with these very missiles.