Maybrit Illner in the TV review: Gregor Gysi on arms deliveries

Whe didn’t know that Gregor Gysi was born in 1948, has known since Thursday evening at the latest. The foreign policy spokesman for the Left Party could not have mentioned his year of birth to Maybrit Illner much more often in order to explain why Germany should not supply weapons to Ukraine. The post-war period shaped him accordingly, said Gysi. A second reason: Germany makes a profit with arms exports.

A loud sigh can be heard at these words in the studio, followed by a long drawn-out “Mr. Gysi”. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who was born in 1958 and chairs the Defense Committee in the Bundestag, is visibly annoyed by the eternal mantra of the left: “Never again war!” support to defend themselves against an aggressor. She convinced with dates and numbers, while Gysi mainly relied on feelings. He is not fundamentally against arms deliveries, just not from Germany.

A disappointing discussion in Germany

Yevgenia Belorusets, a photographer from Kyiv, was visibly dismayed by Gysi’s remarks. Born in Ukraine in 1980, she was in Berlin until a week ago and followed the German debates there. “We need weapons,” she said to Gysi. Anything else would mean that Ukrainians should get used to violence, death and destruction. “The discussion in Germany was painful and disappointing.”

Maybrit Illner’s topic “War in the Ukraine – what does the West want to achieve?” was broad. Too broad that any of the topics raised could have been discussed in depth. The usual problem Illners. Those present galloped from the FDP politicians, who left a meeting of the Defense Committee early last week, to Gysi’s tweet about the alleged war crimes in Butscha and Christine Lambrecht, in front of whom Strack-Zimmermann stood protectively. “I don’t want the woman to be worked off.” Objectively, there is no reason why the defense minister should resign.

From left: Gustav Gressel, Gregor Gysi, Maybrit Illner, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Markus Feldenkirchen.  Added via video: Yevgenia Belorusets

From left: Gustav Gressel, Gregor Gysi, Maybrit Illner, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Markus Feldenkirchen. Added via video: Yevgenia Belorusets

Image: ZDF/Svea Pietschmann

ZDF also tried to make a conflict between the interests of Ukraine, America and Great Britain on the one hand and the Europeans on the other look bigger than it really is. Just like the conflict between Strack-Zimmermann and the Federal Chancellor.

The Chancellor moves

Yes, Scholz only takes small steps every week. Unlike US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, he is not shouting that Russia must be weakened to the point where it can never again attack another country. “If you consider the plateau from which the SPD came, it has already come a long way,” said “Spiegel” author Markus Feldenkirchen, born in 1975, alluding to the initial attitude of some politicians who thought that Ukraine should best not to defend at all. However, Feldenkirchen and Strack-Zimmermann agreed that the chancellor was not speaking plainly. The journalist attests to his “communicative deficits”, the politician is convinced: “Simple, clear language helps with understanding.”

“You could have saved yourself the fuss about heavy weapons,” agreed military expert Gustav Gressel. The Austrian, born in 1979, dared to make predictions about the duration of the war. If the Russians’ personnel problems continued, they could only attack until the summer. After that, only a defensive stance would be possible – unless Vladimir Putin orders general mobilization. Because while the Russian army has to accept heavy losses, the number of soldiers on the Ukrainian side is growing steadily. Basically, however, Gressel fears: “We still have a lot of war ahead of us.”

The last set of topics in the program dealt with Ukraine’s possible accession to the European Union. All those present agreed on this perspective. An interview with the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who, like Strack-Zimmermann, is ten years younger than Gysi, was recorded. In it, she warned that certain standards must be met. But she also sees a great will to reform in Ukraine. Belorusets added that the EU offers an important perspective for their country. “Ukraine wants to be a European country.”