Russia asked German spy for Ukraine war intel: report

A German intelligence officer who allegedly passed state secrets to Russia was asked to gather information about the Ukraine's artillery and air defence positions, media reported Friday.

Russia asked German spy for Ukraine war intel: report
Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Berlin. Photo: Barbara SAX/AFP

Russia’s FSB intelligence service instructed the suspect to find out the exact positioning of Himars precision rocket launchers supplied by the US and the Iris-T air defence system supplied by Berlin, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

“People familiar with the case say it is rather unlikely that such data was passed on,” it said.

But the alleged spy, identified only as Carsten L., did manage to pass on dossiers held by Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency on top-secret Russian communication systems, according to  German magazine Focus.

Carsten L. was arrested on December 22 on suspicion of treason.

In January, a second suspect identified as Arthur E. was also arrested and accused of being complicit in the treason by helping Carsten L. pass the information to Russia.

Unlike Carsten L., Arthur E. was not employed by the BND.

According to Der Spiegel, investigators found at least €100,000 in cash in a safe-deposit box belonging to Carsten L., thought to have been handed over to him by Arthur E.

The arrangement was intended to be long-term, the magazine said.

The Ukraine conflict has heightened concerns in Berlin not only about Russian espionage plots, but also attempted sabotage of critical infrastructure and cyber attacks.

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Ukraine asks Germany for air-to-surface missiles: defence ministry

Ukraine has asked Berlin to provide it with Taurus air-to-surface missiles that have a range of in excess of 500 kilometres, Germany's defence ministry told AFP on Saturday.

Ukraine asks Germany for air-to-surface missiles: defence ministry

“We have a received a request from the Ukrainian side in recent days,” a ministry spokesman said, without providing further details.

The request comes as Ukraine prepares to launch a counteroffensive in an effort to wrestle back territory seized by Russia since Moscow invaded its neighbour in February 2022, sparking the biggest conflict on European soil since World War II.

The missiles, produced by a Germany-Swedish joint venture Taurus Systems, would allow Ukraine to strike well inside Russia with their range of more than 500 kilometres (310 miles).

READ ALSO: Germany say US must decide on jets for Ukraine

The United States and other Western countries providing arms to Ukraine have up to now been cautious on giving Kyiv weapons that could reach inside nuclear-armed Russia, potentially widening the conflict.

Previously seen as reticent on supplying weapons, Germany has become the second-biggest contributor of military assistance to Ukraine after the United States.

READ ALSO: Germany unveils 2.7 bn euro weapons package for Ukraine

It is currently preparing its biggest-yet military aid package, including anti-missile systems, 30 additional Leopard 1 tanks, more than 100 armoured combat vehicles and more than 200 surveillance drones.

But it has so far been cautious on the issue of fighter jets and air-to-surface missiles.