Thomas H., a Bundeswehr officer accused of spying for Russia, told the court that he attempted to contact the Russian consulate three times out of fear of a potential "nuclear escalation" in Ukraine, according to Der Spiegel.

The 54-year-old German officer, who worked in the Bundeswehr office for equipment, information technology, and technical support in Koblenz, stated that he sought information to ensure the safety of his family.

He claims to have been prompted by a message, possibly on TikTok, although he cannot recall the specific source.

In May 2023, as reported by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Thomas H. saved numerous files containing "important security information" on his laptop and took six photographs of training documents from the German Air Force.

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He then delivered this package of documents to the Russian Consulate in Bonn and requested contact.

Receiving no response, he made two further attempts to contact the Russian consulate via email, using the pseudonym "Michael Mueller," but again received no reply.

"He passed on information he had obtained in the course of his professional activities for it to be passed on to a Russian intelligence service," prosecutors said.

The defendant said that the accusations against him were "broadly" accurate.

He contested a claim by prosecutors that he transferred information to the Russian consulate on a CD.

Instead, he said, the documents had been printed out and contained "nothing bad."

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The information was intended to confirm his status as a soldier, he added.

During the trial in Dusseldorf, the accused admitted to being in a severe psychological state and claimed he was "driven by fear of a nuclear escalation of the war in Ukraine," according to Der Spiegel.

He stated that his intention was "to give the Russian armed forces an advantage against the background of the current political situation."

Further, Thomas H. admitted to reaching out to Russian authorities with what he described as a "stupid idea" born out of apocalyptic fears.

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Thomas H. also indicated he had become dissatisfied with the government in Berlin and a perceived lack of concern for the safety of German citizens.

The suspect cited complaints over his health after many hard years working for the army and long-term side effects from the coronavirus vaccine.

His various worries led him into a "vicious circle," he said, adding that he could no longer justify his actions to himself.

The German Federal Prosecutor's Office announced the arrest of Thomas H., a Bundeswehr officer suspected of spying for Russia, in August 2023.

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