German intel chief: Putin made ‘declaration of war’ against West

FILED - Bruno Kahl, President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), arrives for the Public Hearing of the Presidents of the Intelligence Services by the Parliamentary Control Committee. Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

The head of the Germany’s secret service has termed the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “declaration of war” against the entire Western democratic world.

Speaking in a public parliamentary committee session, Bruno Kahl, who leads the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), said President Vladimir Putin’s war was therefore not primarily about the territory of Ukraine.

Putin would continue to use force – as he had in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, Crimea and the Donbass – to achieve his political goals, he said.

When it came to the conflict on the ground in Ukraine, he said he expected the fighting to continue into next year as neither side was willing to concede territory.

He said BND warnings in the past had gone largely unheeded: “It had regrettably become customary in the public discourse of the past decades to repeatedly ignore and suppress real threats – and to dismiss warnings by the security authorities as scaremongering and pomposity,” Kahl said.

Events such as the war in Ukraine show why Germany needs its security authorities, he said.

Other current large threats include “an autocratic China rising to become a global power,” said Kahl.

The president of the Military Counterintelligence Service, Martina Rosenberg, said that in addition to Russian spying activities, China’s intelligence activities against the Bundeswehr “have been at a high level for years.”

The Intelligence Control Board normally meets in secret, but once a year, the questioning of the heads of the federal intelligence services takes place in public.



Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH