Germany. Pro-Russian activists donated money for equipment for the Russian military

Germany. Pro-Russian activists donated money for equipment for the Russian military

Pro-Russian activists in Germany donated money to buy communications equipment for a Russian division fighting in Ukraine, Reuters reported. The leaders of this environment are people who previously campaigned for the German government to stop supplying arms to Ukraine.

“We donated 500 euros to the 42nd motorized rifle division of the Russian Federation for the purchase of radios, headphones and two-way radios,” read the content of the message sent in October 2022 by Yelena Kołbasnikova on a private WhatsApp group. “We spoke to them in Donetsk. They were sent to the front line. My husband was serving with one of them,” the message read to Reuters.

Coming from Ukraine and living in Germany Kołbasnikowa and her husband Max Schlund are among the leaders organized after the aggression Russia protests in Cologne, during which the German government was demanded to stop transferring arms to Ukraine.

In early January, the Reuters agency described the key figures of this campaign, noting their hidden ties to the Russian state and the German far-right.

The activist couple supports the Russian campaign

Schlund, whose original name is Rostislav Tesluk, is a former officer of the Russian Air Force. Kolbasnikova rose to celebrity status in some anti-establishment circles in Germany in 2022 after announcing that she had been fired from her job as a nurse over alleged Russophobia, Reuters wrote, adding that he had failed to independently verify the woman’s accusation.

New information shows that the couple is more involved in supporting the Russian campaign in Ukraine than previously thought. He describes that Kolbasnikova and Schlund handed over the money collected among their supporters to Dmitry Tkachev, an officer of the Russian army in Rostov-on-Don, when they were returning from a trip to the Russian-occupied part Donbass.

Tkachev told Reuters that he accepted the money and, at the behest of his commander, used it to buy communications equipment, which he sent to soldiers at the front. The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on the matter. The press officer of the 42nd division confirmed that Tkaczew is responsible for purchasing equipment for the unit.

Activists break EU sanctions

Kołbasnikowa and Schlund boasted of their help on a group on WhatsApp, to which only the most trusted people are allowed. The woman indicated that she wanted her supporters to know where their donations were going and published, among others, receipts for walkie-talkies and a recording of the voice of a man who, on behalf of the 42nd Division, thanks for the donated equipment.

Recently, the couple also flew to Moscow for a conference where Putin was the keynote speaker. One of the Russian government cultural institutions paid for the plane tickets, Reuters added.

European Union On February 25, 2022, it banned the supply or financing of the purchase of certain goods for the Russian military. The list includes radio equipment. German law provides for a penalty of up to five years in prison for violating these sanctions.

Main photo source: Reuters Archive

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