Latest news

Former German Army Captain Stands Trial for Spying for Russia, Citing Nuclear War Fears

A former German army captain, identified only as Thomas H., is on trial for spying for Russia. The 54-year-old admitted wrongdoing on the opening day of his trial in Dusseldorf on April 29th, claiming his actions were driven by fear of a global nuclear escalation stemming from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Thomas H. was arrested last August while still an active member of the military. He now faces charges of espionage and leaking state secrets. Prosecutors allege that he contacted Russian authorities in May 2023, offering cooperation and providing sensitive information. They claim he photographed classified documents from his position at an army facility in Koblenz, responsible for equipping Berlin’s Armed Forces and testing new military technology. These documents were then allegedly dropped off at the Russian consulate in Bonn.

“It was wrong. I stand by that,” the defendant said on the opening day of the trial, adding the accusations against him are “broadly accurate.”

Thomas H. asserts that his actions were motivated by concerns about the possibility of a Russian nuclear attack arising from the war in Ukraine. Former officer states that he reached out to Russia in an attempt to gather information about the potential timing of such an event.

While employed at a German army facility tasked with testing military equipment and technology, Thomas H. purportedly obtained classified information. Prosecutors allege that he did so without receiving financial compensation.

Notably, Thomas H. also joined the far-right AfD party around the same time.

This incident highlights potential security risks within Germany, as it’s not the only suspected case of Russia-linked espionage since the beginning of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Another trial involving a former intelligence officer is ongoing in Berlin, and Russia previously released audio excerpts from a leaked German military call about the Ukraine war.

See all