Anyone who opposes the prevailing political line will be sawed off. Whether it’s the Covid narrative, or in the case of the German naval chief, the mantra of the “Russian invasion of Ukraine.” Inconvenient statements, such as the wish to treat the Russian President with respect, are not wanted by the ruling clique.
Inconvenient truths should not reach the population if possible. This has been seen in relation to the official Covid narrative for the last two years in particular. Anything that didn’t conform was denounced as “fake news,” “conspiracy theory,” and “squawk,” even if it later turned out to be the truth. The game runs similarly when it comes to the subject of Russia. Like a mantra, the claim is repeated that Moscow is aiming to invade Ukraine and would like to annex more parts of the former Soviet Union. Contradictory opinions are not accepted – especially not from high-ranking military officials.
Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach has now felt this too. On a Event organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses on Friday he shocked the plenum there. “Does Russia really want to incorporate a small and tiny strip of Ukrainian soil into its land? No, that’s nonsense. Putin is probably pushing because he can and because he is dividing EU opinion”, he said. Schönbach further claimed that President Putin really wants the West to “respect” Russia, adding:
“Giving some respect doesn’t cost much, even nothing. If you ask me, it’s easy to give him the respect he really demands and probably deserves.”
On the subject of Crimea, the German naval commander opined that the “peninsula is gone” and “will never come back – that’s a fact”. On the possible admission of Ukraine into NATO, Schönbach said: “Of course, Ukraine cannot meet the requirements because the Donbass region is occupied by the Russian army or by so-called militias.” In this regard, he also said that the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia, is “gone” and “is not coming back”.
China is not a “nice country”
In an even greater breach of conventional pro-China etiquette, the German had the audacity to point out the elephant in the room when he called China “not as nice a country as we might have thought,” adding that “Russia is an old Country is, Russia is an important country. Even we, India and Germany, need Russia. We need Russia against China…” This is “easy” and keeps “Russia away from China” because China needs Russia’s resources and they need them [Russland] are willing to give them because sanctions sometimes go in the “wrong direction”.
Schönbach described China as a growing “hegemonic power” that uses its money and power to put pressure on the international order, and said China has been acting like an enemy towards some countries and is pursuing a “hidden agenda”. As an example of Chinese attempts to steal technology, the German naval chief cited the German company Kuka Robotics, which was taken over by a “private” Chinese company, with “all the technology gone” and “China not paying back”. In connection with this and other developments, he recalled German politicians’ view of China, saying that they believe “China is not the nice country that we probably thought of.”
Ukraine is outraged
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in permanent outrage
Schönbach’s statements, which he claims to have made as a private person, triggered a diplomatic scandal, whereupon the Ukrainian foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to the country, Anka Feldhusen, on Saturday. Kyiv called his comments “unacceptable”. Ukraine’s foreign ministry also urged Germany to dismiss Schoenbach’s comments on Crimea, saying they would undermine efforts to counter Russian aggression.
“Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has provided since 2014 and diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort.”, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter. “The German partners must stop using such words and actions to undermine unity and encourage (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” added Kuleba.
Ukraine demands German weapons
Kyiv also stressed its “deep disappointment” with the German government’s stance “in relation to the failure to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons.” The lack of arms support is another point of contention between the two countries. On Friday it was reported that Germany Estonia prevents itto supply its German-made weapons to Ukraine. And while it’s unclear whether the establishment was more shocked by his remarks about Putin, Russia and Ukraine or by his brutal honesty with China, what followed was nothing less than a “political earthquake.”
The country’s defense ministry immediately distanced itself from the controversial remarks, and its spokesman said the vice admiral’s remarks “in no way reflected the position” of the ministry, “both in terms of substance and choice of words.”
The Rostock-based press office of the Navy spread a opinion Vizeadmirals: “My thoughtless statements about security and military policy made in India are increasingly weighing on my office,” said Schönbach, explaining his resignation. “In order to take further damage from the German Navy, the Bundeswehr, but above all from the Federal Republic of Germany, I consider this step to be necessary.” The German Navy is now to be led by his deputy, Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet, Rear Admiral Jan Christian Kaack, until a decision is made on Schönbach’s successor, the statement said.
The representatives of the Defense Committee of the Bundestag were informed about Schönbach’s decision in the evening, as the ministry spokesman said. However, one can assume that Schönbach was urged to take this step from the highest level. In the event of a NATO war against Russia, the vice admiral would be a “security risk”, as it were, since he does not want to join the transatlantic front, which is always looking for new reasons for “punitive measures” against Moscow.