Germany fired the army chief after his comments on Russia’s military capabilities

Eberhard Zorn, head of the German Army (Reuters) (MICHELE TANTUSSI /)

The new German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius dismissed the army chief of staffindicated sources close to the ministry, after the latter made some controversial comments about the capabilities of the Russian armed forces.

The general Eberhard Zorn He will be replaced by Carsten Breuer, general of the German army, these sources declared, without specifying the reasons for the decision.

In September, Zorn, who has been in office since 2018, He expressed concern about the Ukrainians’ ability to defeat the Russian army, and feared that Moscow would open a new front in the Ukraine.

“Kaliningrad, the Baltic Sea, the Finnish border, Georgia, Moldova… There are many possibilities. [El presidente ruso, Vladimir] Putin would have the capabilities”, he declared in an interview in the German weekly Focus. He also justified Berlin’s reluctance to hand over the heavy weapons Ukraine is demanding.

According to him, Ukraine carries out “counterattacks, with the help of which it can retake places on the front, but cannot push Russia back on a broad front”.


These statements were criticized at home and abroad, most notably by a retired US general, Ben Hodges, who led the US military in Europe. He replied that it was an “astonishingly poor analysis of Russian capabilities that sadly reflects much of the thinking of the German ‘elite’”, as indicated on his Twitter account.

Zorn was appointed to the post in 2018 by conservative Ursula von der Leyen, who was defense minister at the time.

the lieutenant general Carsten Breuer will replace Zorn in the position of “general inspector” of the German Armed Forces, as this position is called, he is the highest-ranking military man in the country, the agency reported dpa.

Breuer, who will also be a senior decision-maker at the Ministry of Defense and military adviser to the chancellor, became a familiar face amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to his role as chief of the Crisis Staff. of COVID-19.

The current Defense Minister took office in mid-January this year, after replacing Christine Lambrecht in office, who was embroiled in several controversies amid the debate over whether Berlin should send more modern tanks to Ukraine.

(With information from AFP and Europa Press)

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