Putin war fears surge with horror warning sympathisers could target German state offices

Ukraine: Zelenskyy appeals to Russian soldiers to 'go home'

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As the Russian war on Ukraine rages into its seventh day, Germany seized an oligarch’s super yacht and has sent weapons and aid to Kyiv. However, German police unions are worried sympathisers will also carry out attacks in the country – for example on embassies or refugee homes.

The Federal Chairman of the Police Union (GdP), Oliver Malchow, warned of “violent conflicts” on both Ukrainian and Russian buildings.

He said: “Violent conflicts between sympathisers of both groups in the Federal Republic are conceivable.

“This also includes attacks on representative offices and official institutions of both states.”

He added the federal and state police forces must be ready for an emergency, and that the impact of the conflict on internal security in this country is being reassessed on a daily basis.

Mr Malchow added police have already deployed more officers due to protests against the war in Ukraine.

The GdP chairman told website noz.de: “The deployment volume has already increased due to demonstrations and protective measures.”

Over the weekend, for example, 100,000 people demonstrated for peace in Berlin – under the protection of the police.

The union leader pointed out the increase in demonstrations, first because of the Covid pandemic and now because of the foreign policy crisis, was “always an enormous additional burden for the police”.

Another police union, the DPolG, echoed the warning and said the country could see a terror attack.

DPoIG president, Rainer Wendt, said: “Germany can certainly also become a target of terrorist attacks, for example by damaging or destroying critical infrastructure facilities.”

In recent years, he said, there have been repeated attacks on the IT systems of various institutions or industries.

Energy supply could also be a potential target.

In view of the expected flow of refugees to Germany, Mr Wendt also sees a danger for the accommodation of Ukrainian war refugees, whose shelters would have to be extensively protected.

He said: “We have painfully learned in Germany that the Russian secret services do not shy away from practising their murderous craft on German soil as well.”

Mr Wendt demanded action from politicians, and said: “The improvement of personnel and material equipment of the police authorities must take place throughout Germany.

“It must not be a flash in the pan after dramatic security incidents.”

As an example, he mentioned the establishment of an additional ten groups of a hundred for the riot police of the Federal Police.

It comes as Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov had his 512-foot yacht Dilbar, valued at nearly $600 million, seized by German authorities in the northern city of Hamburg.

The ship has been in the Hamburg shipyards of German shipbuilding firm Blohm+Voss since late October for a refitting job.

According to Forbes, sources said that the German government froze the asset and likely as a result, Blohm+Voss employees who had been working on the yacht didn’t show up to work on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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