What’s next in the war between Russia and Ukraine? The ruler Putin has just commanded 300,000 “reservists”. Young men, old men – both equally untrained and unequipped for front-line work. “The war is escalating – how dangerous is Putin’s weakness?” Maybrit Illner put up for debate on Thursday evening. It’s less of a discussion that we’re experiencing, and more of a round of explanations. Which isn’t bad.
“Putin has now scared his own people”
According to the former German ambassador in Moscow, his name is Rüdiger von Fritsch: “Putin has never been under so much pressure as he is now. He is fighting for his power at home.” In many Russian cities, people are taking to the streets against “partial mobilization”. And are promptly arrested. CDU politician Norbert Röttgen sees the situation similarly: “Putin has now frightened his own people.” Lars Klingbeil, head of the SPD, goes even further: “Putin is also trying to play with our fear.” And his own people in Russia who now have to go to the front? “Cannon fodder,” comments political expert Carlo Masala from the Bundeswehr University.
Nuclear Weapons: A Cheap Bluff or a Serious Danger?
keyword fear. How big is the risk that Russia’s rulers will use nuclear weapons? He himself has just emphasized: “We will use all available means. This is not a bluff.” Political scientist Carlo Masala says in the talk: “The danger of using nuclear weapons has not increased.” Former ambassador von Fritsch also says: Putin is “not a suicidal actor”. Although there is still a latent danger, according to SPD politician Klingbeil: “We have to be consistent.” At the same time, he concedes that the West “was too quiet” when it annexed Crimea in 2014.
SPD boss tries to dismiss guilt: “Everyone wanted cheap gas”
At the end of the show, the talk turns up. It’s getting hot. Sabine Adler, a journalist from Deutschlandfunk, goes back to the mistakes made by the previous government. Back to Merkel’s mistakes, to the failure of the SPD. Adler’s conclusion: “It always went unchecked in the wrong direction.” In this context, she also sees the power of lobbyists and even brings corruption into play. According to Adler, the wrong energy policy and dependence on Russia’s gas would now have fatal consequences: “People will fall into deep poverty,” says the author. “And we have the SPD and the Union to thank for that.”
CDU man Röttgen is just about to start defending when Sabine Adler immediately emphasizes: “You were the big exception.” Röttgen criticized the wrong energy policy early on and always. Lars Klingbeil, on the other hand, doesn’t want to let that stand: “Everyone wanted cheap gas!” And towards Röttgen: “It’s a bit too banal for me. The SPD is always to blame.” That’s banal, he repeats again. And again. “Too banal.” When it comes to party-political failure, verbal weapons are quickly drawn again.
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