Germany has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to create division by leaking a confidential German army discussion about the war in Ukraine.

The leak, which appeared on Russian social media, features a 38-minute recording where participants discuss the potential use of German-made Taurus missiles and their impact, as well as the use of long-range missiles provided to Ukraine by France and Britain.

“It is about using this recording to destabilize and unsettle us,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated, expressing hopes that Putin’s efforts would not succeed.

Pistorius also mentioned awaiting the results of a military investigation before making conclusions.

Ukraine has been pushing Germany to supply Taurus missiles, capable of reaching targets up to 500 kilometers away. However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declined, fearing escalation with Russia.

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Meanwhile, France and Britain have supplied Kyiv with SCALP or Storm Shadow missiles, both of which have a range of about 250 kilometers.

Scholz came under harsh criticism after suggesting that UK and French troops had been deployed in Ukraine to assist the latter with firing the long-range missiles they had supplied.

While explaining Berlin’s reluctance to provide Kyiv with its Taurus long-range missiles on Monday, Feb. 26, Scholz said it was due to the necessity for German boots to be on the ground to assist with target control, suggesting the British and French already have missile-savvy personnel in Ukraine.

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“What is being done in the way of target control and accompanying target control on the part of the British and the French can’t be done in Germany. Everyone who has dealt with this system knows that,” said Scholz, as reported by AP News.

“This is a very long-range weapon, and what the British and French are doing in terms of targeting and supporting targeting cannot be done in Germany,” Scholz said, without specifying exactly what he meant.

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Part of the conversation in the leaked recording however appeared to call into question Scholz’s explanation of why he could not provide Kyiv with the missiles.

Britain has denied that it had any direct involvement in operating the missiles.

“Ukraine’s use of Storm Shadow and its targeting processes are the business of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy head of the Security Council, alleged that “Germany is preparing for war with Russia.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov interpreted the recording as Ukraine and its allies' reluctance to change course, aiming for a strategic defeat against Russia.

German politicians are demanding answers regarding the wiretap.

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