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Ukrainian woman becomes clear with Maybrit Illner: "The Russians should leave us alone!"

In danger and in dire need, the middle ground does not help: Maybrit Illner’s guests on ZDF criticized Germany’s behavior in the Ukraine crisis.

Frankfurt/Berlin – The picture on the ZDF homepage shows Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) walking behind NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – not to say: he’s dabbing behind. And one can safely assume that the editors of the talk show around Maybrit Illner have thought of something. Because the malicious selection of images alluded to what dominated the domestic political debate on the show (and of course before that): Germany’s inability to take a clear position in the current crisis between Russia, Ukraine and the West.

“Putin understander or America friend – Germany between the fronts?” was the topic on Maybrit Illner (ZDF), but none of their guests wanted to show that they understood Vladimir Putin – except of course the Russian in the group. And perhaps it would have helped the matter and the understanding if Wladislav Belov had been allowed to speak in more detail. Although his arguments were not necessarily new, his reference to the “time bombs” that had been thrown by Boris Yeltsin and others since 1991 made it clear on which historical background anyone who wants to understand what the Russian “tsars “

Talk at Maybrit Illner on ZDF on the Ukraine crisis: What Russia wants is obvious

And that is above all the encirclement he sees himself exposed to: on the one hand the NATO eastward expansion, on the other hand democratic efforts in the neighboring states such as Belarus, Georgia and also in their own gigantic empire of Russia. This is so obvious (and has been described often enough) that the thesis repeatedly formulated in the ZDF program that one must first know what Putin wants seemed superfluous.

It makes more sense to ask what the Germans (and the Europeans) actually want. And since this country plays a central role due to its geographical location and economic and political importance, clarity is all the more necessary. Ulrike Franke not only pointed this out once, and the Ukrainian author Kateryna Mishchenko also wished for “clarity”.

TV talk with Maybrit Illner (ZDF) from February 3rd, 2022 The guests of the show
Omid Nouripour Alliance ’90/The Greens, party chairman
Martin Schulz Former leader of the SPD, now chairman of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Norbert Rottgen CDU foreign politician
Kateryna Mishchenko Ukrainian publisher and co-author of the Maidan book “Ukrainian Nights”, lives in Kiev
Vladislav Below Director of the Center for German Issues and the European Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow
Ulrike Franke Expert for German and European defense policy at the research institute and think tank European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Russia: Maybrit Illner (ZDF) is also discussing arms deliveries to Ukraine

Example of arms deliveries: Kiev’s Mayor Klitschko considers the promised 5,000 helmets to be a joke, and not without reason. But Omid Nouripour (Greens) assured Maybrit Illner that more material would be delivered – just no “lethal weapons”. The politicians in the studio agreed on that.

Martin Schulz (SPD) found that arms deliveries did not contribute to relaxation, and Norbert Röttgen (CDU) emphasized on ZDF that they destroyed the opportunities for talks that the Germans in particular had. But how does Berlin use these opportunities? It is true that Nouripour formulated that it is important to maintain a “balance between dialogue and toughness” towards Russia. But Ulrike Franke was critical of the “channels of communication”: “That doesn’t go down well abroad”. The reputation of the Germans suffered among the allies. They would rather perceive a “cacophony” from Berlin.

Talk round with Maybrit Illner (ZDF): Nord Stream 2 is not a private project

A lobbyist for Russia’s Gazprom group, who was once chancellor but has now disqualified himself as a serious debater, is believed to have contributed to this by urging Ukraine to stop “saber-rattling”. Martin Schulz had no problem distancing himself from such nonsense, but he did with the gas. Because the Nord Stream 2 project contributes to the displeasure with the Germans.

To the broadcast

Maybrit Illner, ZDF, Thursday, February 3, 10:15 p.m. The broadcast online.

Olaf Scholz should have noticed that he can no longer sell the gas pipeline as a private-sector project, even if Martin Schulz emphasized this aspect again. But Omid Nouripour made the dilemma clear: the reliability that gas has been flowing from Russia for 50 years no longer exists.

Kateryna Mishchenko also asked Illner on ZDF what the Germans actually want. What the Ukrainians themselves want, she formulated very clearly: “We want the Russians to leave us alone!” (Daland Segler)

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