German ministers tone deaf address drowned out by fireworks

Russian pundit hopes Ukraine and Russia would 'storm Berlin'

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A German minister’s video address to mark the new year has been drowned out by fireworks. The minute-long clip, which was filmed on the streets of Berlin, also drew criticism for its “tone-deaf” message.

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht was barely audible above the sound of exploding fireworks when she reflected on a year which ended with “war raging in the middle of Europe”.

In the video uploaded to her personal Instagram account, Ms Lambrecht said that the conflict in Ukraine had led to “a lot of special experiences” and the chance for “many encounters with great and interesting people”.

Liberal broadsheet Der Tagesspiegel said the address failed to “hit the right note” and made Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sound like an “exciting professional experience”.

Conservative tabloid Bild claimed the message “shamed” Germany, according to the Telegraph.

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Fireworks had been banned for two years due to the pandemic but this year revellers were once again able to set off rockets and firecrackers.

However, the scenes appeared to provide an uneasy backdrop as Ukraine continues to face Russian airstrikes.

An intelligence update from the Ministry of Defence on New Year’s Eve said: “On December 29, Russian forces launched another wave of long-range strikes across Ukraine, once again primarily targeting the power distribution network.

“Since October, Russia has sustained a general pattern of conducting an intensive wave of strikes every seven to ten days.

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A post shared by Christine Lambrecht (@christine.lambrecht)

“Russia is almost certainly following this approach in an attempt to overwhelm Ukrainian air defences.

“However, there is a realistic possibility that Russia will break this pattern to strike again in the coming days in an effort to undermine the morale of the Ukrainian population over the new year holiday period.”

The criticisms come after Ms Lambrecht faced questions about Berlin’s somewhat sluggish support for Kyiv.

Lambrecht was mocked last year after she made an announcement about sending 5,000 helmets to Ukraine.

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The package came when Ukraine was pleading for heavy weapons to halt Vladimir Putin’s troops.

A spokesperson for Berlin’s defence ministry refused to comment on Ms Lambrecht’s “private video” during a regular press conference.

However, he did say that “no official resources” were used in the production of the clip.

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