The Kremlin on Monday said the content of leaked conversations between German officials discussing potential strikes on Crimea proved Western countries were participating in the conflict in Ukraine.

The leaks came as an embarrassment for Berlin, which is under pressure to supply Taurus missiles to Kyiv struggling with ammunition shortages.

The conversations "once again highlight the direct involvement of the collective West in the conflict in Ukraine," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

A 38-minute recording of talks between German officers was posted late on Friday on Russian social media.

The officers were discussing the possible use in Ukraine of German-made Taurus missiles and their potential impact.

Topics included aiming the missiles at targets such as a key bridge over the Kerch strait linking the Russian mainland to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

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Germany said it believed the recording featured an "intercepted" conversation in the air force division but could not tell whether or not it had been edited. 

- 'Plans to strike' -

The Kremlin spokesman said the recording "in itself suggests that the Bundeswehr is discussing substantively and specifically plans to strike Russian territory."

Peskov was speaking as the German ambassador to Russia was summoned to the foreign ministry in Moscow.

Ambassador Alexander Graf Lambsdorff left the ministry building without giving any comment, Russian news agencies reported. 

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Prosecutors have opened thousands of cases into alleged collaboration with Moscow's forces since Russia invaded the country in February 2022.

The day before, Germany had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to sow disunity with the leak.

"It is about using this recording to destabilise and unsettle us," said German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, adding that he "hoped that Putin will not succeed".

Pistorius said he was not aware of any further leaks at the army and added that he would await the result of a military probe into the case before drawing any conclusions. 

Kyiv has long been clamouring for Germany to provide it with Taurus missiles, which can reach targets up to 500 kilometres (about 300 miles) away.

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- 'Information war' -

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has so far refused to send the missiles, fearing that it would lead to an escalation of the conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia.

With Russia's offensive in Ukraine in its third year, Kyiv has ramped up its pleas for more military support from allies. 

On the frontlines, its soldiers are outgunned and outnumbered and ammunition shortages are being felt.

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

But Scholz on Monday said that Germany could not justify matching British and French moves in sending long-range missiles to Ukraine and supporting the weapon system's deployment.

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

The acquisition of Taurus missiles would provide a massive boost for Ukraine as Kyiv struggles to fend off Russia's invigorated push on the frontlines.

With politicians in Germany urging answers over the wiretap, Pistorius warned that the leak is "part of an information war that Putin is carrying out".

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"We should not fall for Putin's line," he said.

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Comments (5)

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John
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141 UN nations voted for Russia to get the hell out of Ukraine and stop its crime spree there. 75 sovereign nations, plus the institutes of NATO, the IMF and the EU / ECC, UNHRC all provide Ukraine with support to defend itself and offset war costs. The International Criminal Court even convicted Putin of being a war criminal. Billions have also been privately crowd funded for Ukraine's war needs. Millions of people and NGOs volunteer across the globe each day to deliver aid, thwart putin's cybercrime and also neuter troll messaging.

Of course the 'West' is involved. The North, the South and the East is in evolved. Warm messages for the Ukrainians from the Antartic last just last week even. Possibly even alien species are involved (-;)

Putin's evil regime will not succeed.

Why would the common russian even want this? To live in a nation of continued oppression, whose dictator has made their nation internationally despised....what's so fun about that?

Putins support even at home fades. His dark regime's days are numbered.

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Sasha
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the problem with the West is that it is too little involved!

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Rheinhardt Wilheim
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west involvement?
oh you fucking rasshist from the kriminal kriminalin in the sunken moskva
the whole world is involved in Ukraine on the side of Ukraine throught funding like United 24
and what about the helprasshist get from thug nations with troops and armement from north korea, the transvestites from iran, the ass ad of syria, tsjetsjenia, chinaxi the different Stan-countries who import sanctioned goods
shut the fuck up you rasshist cry babies

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Rheinhardt Wilheim
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involvement West? so what
rasshist started this criminal war against Ukraine
and rasshist had no reason to start a war against Ukraine
rasshist made up a lot of cry rasshist baby cry stories and made up a lot of lies to start a war against Ukraine
rasshist is involved in Africa with its socalled africacorps; nazi germany also ahd a africacorp
this proves rasshist is a nazi country with rasshist nazi ideology. like wagner PMS is/was a nazi fascist organisation

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Mark Rockford
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More crying from Russia, who are terrified at the prospect of American aid resuming, and the arrival of the F-16s. In spite of all their posturing, their house of cards is always on the verge of collapse.

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