5,000 German helmets for Ukraine in the face of the looming specter of war with Russia are a mockery that strained even a German journalist’s nerve. “We Germans have become a bad joke,” wrote the editor-in-chief of Die Welt in “Welcome to the German Federal Republic of Clowns.” In just a few months, the new German government showed its true face, not only in terms of foreign policy.
5,000 helmets – sacrificial military aid
Ukraine asked Germany for military aid in the form of weapons supplies to help defend itself against Russia’s airborne attack. Ambassador Andriy Melnyk spoke about warships and air defense systems. He also expected 100,000 protective helmets and vests for volunteers. Berlin responded by sending 5,000 helmets. And while it sounds like a bad joke cut from a meme, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht proudly emphasized that these helmets “are a very clear sign of which side we are on.” And perhaps it is tough to doubt which side the Germans are on. Earlier statements by politicians across the Oder River are equally shocking and show a high degree of ties between German-Russian economic interests.
Russia has occupied the Ukrainian Donbas since 2014, and this has not prevented Germany from building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which violates Europe’s energy security. They do not intend to resign from launching the investment even now. There are also no real actions in sight that could stop Putin. There is no consent to impose severe sanctions against Russia, which would exclude it from the international banking system. The new head of the CDU, Friedrich Merz, stated directly that the sanctions in the form of “excluding Moscow from the SWIFT payment system would be an atomic bomb that would negatively affect the capital markets and harm Germany.” This fear was echoed by other politicians who still persuade people to engage in dialogue with Moscow, an exchange so cautious that last week the German Chancellor rejected a proposal to meet the US president on the crisis in Ukraine. He claimed that he could not find an empty place in his calendar anytime soon. Fortunately, the decisive stance of other leaders and world media on the issue of Ukraine probably somewhat mitigated the German government. On January 26th, it took part in a videoconference organized by the US President, attended by the presidents of Poland, France, Italy, and Great Britain, as well as representatives of European institutions, the President of the European Commission, President of the European Council, and NATO’s Secretary-General. The course of the meeting was secret. It remains to be hoped that Germany understood the seriousness of the threat. So far, they managed to send 5,000 of these unfortunate helmets to Ukraine, so the thought process seems to have just started. No wonder even the German media reacted sharply to this mockery.
The German Federal Republic of Clowns
The editor-in-chief of the daily Die Welt, Ulf Poschardt, did not leave a thread on the current government.
“Welcome to the German Federal Republic of Clowns. The offer of 5,000 helmets for Ukraine, threatened by an aggressive autocrat, could become a constant at future NATO and G-7 summit meetings regarding Germany’s sense of responsibility. We have become a joke, a bad and cruel one. A mix of Gunther (from “Friends”) and Uter Zoerker, a German student in leather pants from “The Simpsons,” he wrote, adding that “unfortunately, the German freak is back.”
Global disenchantment with the new government and its foreign policy is pushing the country away from the West. When the Russian propaganda channel Russia Today (RT) praises the German admiral for betraying the idea of freedom of the liberal West, we know where we have wandered off,” Poschardt stresses.
In his opinion, the government of the coalition of the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP fails the test in all of the serious matters – be it the Ukrainian crisis, the energy transformation, or politics during the pandemic. It is difficult not to share his diagnosis, especially when you consider the highly ideological coalition agreement written out in detail on 177 pages. Aleksandra Rybińska perfectly described its shocking scope and level of ideological entanglement in her text: “Ideology instead of pragmatism, or what the new German government is preparing for us.”
Russian agents in Europe
For years, it was a work in progress to shape the present consciousness of German politicians. This is the result of a decades-long cultural revolution that has formatted Western thinking according to “progressive” neo-Marxist guidelines. Needless to say, the information war that has been going on for years also has its consequences. Already in 2016, the secret services of many EU countries alerted the European Parliament that the level of activity of Russian agents in their countries was appalling.
In 2016, the report of the Swedish SAPO services for 2015 was published. The report’s authors emphasized that Russia is waging a psychological war against Sweden, which is aimed at decision-makers and the public. The Kremlin wants to influence decisions made in Sweden by supporting extremist movements, information activities, and disinformation. The Swedes also warned against the actions of the Russian authorities, which support the media, which is more and more often their tool. They mention the media groups “RT” and “Sputnik,” which are part of the group founded by President Vladimir Putin and controlled by the Kremlin.
Bulgaria also issued a similar report in June 2016. Bulgarian counterintelligence alerted that foreign services were penetrating the country’s internal affairs. Attempts were made to take over the media and the energy sector. The report’s authors stressed that the object of interest was “processes underway in the political, economic, social, cultural, religious and military spheres.”
It was no different in other countries, including Germany. In 2014, the German media alerted that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) had intensified its espionage activities in Germany. At that time, Russian agents were extremely active in recruiting collaborators from amongst German politicians, foundations, and ministries. “No other country takes espionage in Germany as seriously as Russia,” reported Hans-Georg Maassen in Welt am Sonntag, the then head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. According to German counterintelligence, there are about 100 recruitment attempts per year.
But after all, the pursuit of Russia’s interests is not the sole purpose of conscious agents. Russia knows perfectly well how to control the agency of influence and how to use the so-called “useful idiots” to achieve their own goals. The assumption of the “long march through the institutions” was to guide society through the educational and formation process in such a way as to educate the future political, business, and cultural elite in such a way that their independent decisions would meet the expectations of neo-Marxist ideologues. Looking at today’s decisions of some politicians, it must be admitted that the plan has been perfectly executed.