Germany Accidentally Revealed UK, French Troops In Ukraine

Police inspect a dead body at the scene of damaged multi-storey apartment building caused by the latest rocket Russian attack in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)

German Chancellor Scholz stands accused of handing Russia a propaganda coup in order to smooth over his own political difficulties as he claims the presence of British and French soldiers aiding Ukrainian forces.

Scholz has been accused of abusing intelligence and being a bad ally by angry NATO politicians after his remarks about the level of involvement he claims there is of the British and French in the deployment of the Storm Shadow / SCALP cruise missiles they have given to Ukraine, and which have been deployed with devastating effect.

Ukraine continues to demand Germany hand over its stock of Taurus bunker-buster cruise missiles to help it fight Russia. Indeed, the powerful and long-range weapon which Berlin has proven resistant to supply has been the subject of debate in Germany dragging on now for several months. Chancellor Olaf Scholz insists providing the weapon, which has the endurance to strike deep into Russian areas would represent an irresponsible escalation of the war and make Germany a party to the conflict in a way its previous donations of weapon systems and ammunition had not.

Answering questions on the subject again this week, Chancellor Scholz developed his reasoning for refusing the weapon by stating it was of such complexity there would necessarily have to be German soldiers present in Ukraine to program and set up the weapon before it could be fired. Scholz said this week: “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”.

Indeed, he doubled down on this on Friday: “I will not support any decision that would somehow involve German soldiers in a military operation related to Russia’s terrible war against Ukraine”.

It is a little-discussed fact that many NATO states have soldiers in Ukraine, but these troops are generally present only to protect the embassies of those nations in Kyiv, and to safeguard diplomatic staff. In some cases they have additional roles: the United States has been open about the fact it has a limited presence of soldiers who track what happens to the enormous amounts of high-tech weapons systems the West gives to Ukraine, for the sake of accountability. Indeed, that presence was re-confirmed only this week by John Kirby.

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