Photo sourse: Reuters
In Germany, some people demand a change of course towards Ukraine. The names of Kremlin agents working in Germany have been revealed. A Reuters investigation revealed that some key figures in the campaign have ties to the Russian state or the far right.
Thus, in a square beneath the twin spires of Cologne’s gothic cathedral, around 2,000 protesters gathered in September to urge Germany’s government to break with the Western coalition backing Ukraine and make peace with Russia.
The rally was just one of many occasions – online and on the streets – where people have clamored that Berlin should reconsider its support for Ukraine. That message taps into deep connections between Germany and Russia, with several million Russian speakers living in Germany, a legacy of Soviet ties to Communist east Germany, and decades of German dependence on Russian gas.
Close ties between Russia and Germany
It was discovered that some of the loudest agitators for a change in German policy have two faces. Some use aliases and have undisclosed ties to Russia and Russian entities under international sanctions or far-right organizations.
The ties between Germany and Russia go back centuries. In the 18th century, Empress Catherine the Great invited her German compatriots to emigrate to Russia. Between 1992 and 2002, some 1.5 million descendants of these settlers returned to Germany, taking advantage of laws that allowed people of German descent to apply for citizenship.
German government research shows that this community votes more for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party than other groups. It wants to tighten immigration controls and limit the influence of Islam in Germany.
Liars in Germany exposed
The organizer of the demonstrations and several other pro-Russian events was “a native of Ukraine”, Olena Kolbasnikova, who currently lives in Germany. According to the legend, she once worked as a nurse and was fired because of “Russophobia.”
As noted, Kolbasnikova organizes pro-Russian actions with her husband, an ex-officer of the Russian air force Rostislav Tesliuk. After moving to Germany ten years ago, he changed his name to Max Schlund.
According to the agency, in the summer of 2022, the couple visited Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine allegedly to distribute humanitarian aid. In addition, a Russian government agency financed their flight to Moscow to attend a conference where Vladimir Putin spoke.
The agency identified several security guards of the pro-Russian rally in Cologne who participated in numerous gatherings of so-called “Russian Cossacks” in Germany.
One of them is Andrey Kharkivsky, a native of the Tomsk region, who runs a small trucking business near Cologne. The other two are Vladimir Felk and Sergey Schneider. In addition, the nightclub security guard Grigory Kramer, a member of the “Union of Cossack Warriors of Russia and Abroad,” was with them in the photo.
Russian military intelligence officer in Berlin
Another Russian agent in Germany is the head of a Berlin construction company Oleg Yeremenko, who used to be an officer of the Russian military intelligence. He participated in the panel discussion “Peace with Russia” in the framework of the “Peace and Solidarity” festival organized by the Communist Party of Germany.
He is also a board member of an organization called “Descent,” which consists of ex-Russian military personnel. He appeared with Russian diplomats at events in memory of Soviet soldiers who died in Germany.
Yeremenko is acquainted with Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (Strelkov). In a comment to Reuters, he confirmed that he worked for Russian military intelligence, stressing that he was in Germany “in, let’s say, civilian status.”
Kremlin narratives are often heard in Germany thanks to Putin’s agents
As noted, they all spread the Kremlin’s narratives among the German-speaking audience on the Internet. In particular, the analysis of German-language telegram resources revealed at least 27 channels that work for an audience of about 1.5 million subscribers.
One of these channels is Putin Fanclub, whose administrator supports the far-right pro-Russian party “Alternative for Germany” Vyacheslav Zewald.
Another person involved in the agency is a motorcyclist from East Germany, Jan Riedel, the president of an organization called German-Russian Souls. It systematically participates in pro-Russian events in Germany.
Riedel and members of the organization often publish images on social networks that allegedly show artillery shelling of residential buildings and civilian infrastructure in eastern Ukraine by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In violation of all the norms and laws of warfare, Russia is shelling Ukraine’s civilian population and civilian infrastructure, which is known to the whole world from authoritative sources.