- The commander of the German Navy, Kai Achim Schönbach, has resigned from his post after controversial comments about the conflict in Ukraine.
- The German Ministry of Defense announced this, Saturday evening, according to the German news agency.
- At an event in India, Schonbach expressed understanding to Russian President Vladimir Putin and said, among other things, that Crimea, annexed by Russia, would never return to Ukraine.
Schonbach said literally: “Crimea is lost, and it will not return.” In 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. Since then, Moscow-backed rebels have been battling the pro-Western government in Kiev, in the east of the country. With a massive deployment of Russian forces near Ukraine, there are fears in the West that the Kremlin may be planning an invasion of the neighboring country. Schonbach said Russia wanted to seize Ukrainian territory “nonsense”.
“In terms of content and choice of words, the statements are in no way consistent with the position of the Federal Defense Ministry,” a defense ministry spokesman told dpa. Schonbach himself said on Saturday via his official Twitter account: He described his statement as a “clear mistake” and “unwise, misjudged the situation.”
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