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German military call on unsecured phone line was hacked and leaked by Russia, defense minister says

A German military officer used an unsecured phone line from a Singapore hotel to join a conference call that was hacked by Russian agents and leaked publicly, according to Germany’s defense minister.

The leaked audio involved high-ranking German air force officers discussing hypothetical scenarios of providing Ukraine with Taurus long-range cruise missiles to counter Russia’s invasion.

While German authorities have not questioned the recording’s authenticity, Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated last week that delivering such weapons to Ukraine is not an option for Germany.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the officer failed to follow mandatory secure calling procedures while attending the Singapore Air Show.

“The officer dialed into the WebEx call using either a mobile phone or the hotel’s Wi-Fi, not a secured line as required,” Pistorius told reporters in Berlin, providing initial investigation findings.

He said it appeared Russian intelligence got “a real find” by broadly targeting hotel networks across Singapore to access the unsecured call “by chance.”

In the 38-minute leaked audio posted by a Russian state TV editor, officers including the German air force chief Ingo Gerhartz discussed deployment scenarios for Taurus missiles, which Ukraine has requested.

The officers stated that rapid deployment would only be possible with German troops’ involvement, while training Ukrainians could take months.

The leak highlighted Germany has not approved delivering the missiles, despite supplying other military aid to Kyiv.

Pistorius vowed the security lapse would face disciplinary review, but said “I will not sacrifice any of my best officers to Putin’s games.”

While downplaying the content’s damage as “manageable,” he admitted Russia successfully steered Germany’s agenda by exploiting the breach.

The incident further frayed ties between Berlin and Moscow, with Russia’s foreign ministry threatening Germany with “dire consequences” over the leak just before its presidential election.

As Ukraine awaits more Western arms amid battlefield setbacks, the hacking emphasized the high-stakes security risks surrounding military technology transfers.