A senior German minister has lashed out at his own intelligence services for failing to predict Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


Minister slams own intelligence services for ‘failing to predict’ invasion of Ukraine


A senior German minister has lashed out at his own intelligence services for failing to foresee Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and minister for economy and climate change, derided the country’s BND foreign intelligence services for repeatedly making what he said were incorrect predictions regarding the Ukraine war.

During an interview for an upcoming book, Habeck claimed that spy services from a variety of other countries had long been warning that Russia was going to imminently invade Ukraine.

By contrast, he said that the BND was informing that the amassing of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border was just an “exercise”, and that “the worst [would] not come”.

“But the worst has come,” Habeck said.

The BND’s failings reportedly extended beyond not predicting the war, with the Green Party politician blaming the agency for Germany’s initial failure to send weapons to help Ukraine.

“The services predicted that after 24, 48 hours Putin would occupy the whole of Ukraine,” he said, claiming that his government had delayed delivery of equipment for two days before it was realised this prediction was also inaccurate.

Such allegations were reportedly revealed as part of a new book by journalist Stephan Lamby called Ernstfall: Governing in Times of War, which details the experiences of Germany’s traffic-light coalition since the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Published on August 24, the non-fiction tome reportedly includes various revelations regarding the German response to the war.

One such is that Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock does not appear to be satisfied with the impact European Union sanctions have had on Russia.

According to the book, Baerbock initially thought economic sanctions against the country would cause problems for Moscow.

She said that ended up not being the case, with the country’s authoritarian structure appearing able to absorb the economic impact of the punitive European measures.

“The logic of democracies does not work in autocracies,” she said.

The minister added that she now believed the Ukraine war could not be “ended with rational decisions” or “rational measures taken between civilised governments”.

Baerbock also expressed frustration regarding Germany’s initial reluctance to show steadfast support for Ukraine, openly wondering if the coalition should have sent a delegation to Kyiv much earlier on in the conflict.