German Military Leak Reveals British Soldiers Are in Ukraine Helping Fire Storm Shadow Missiles

German military officers were also discussing how Taurus missiles could destroy the Kerch Bridge

British soldiers are “on the ground” in Ukraine helping Ukrainian forces fire Storm Shadow missiles, according to a leaked recording of a conversation between German military officers that was published by Russian media.

Germany confirmed the authenticity of the recording, and the British did not dispute the claim. The UK confirmed last week that it had a “small number” of troops inside Ukraine who are “supporting the armed forces of Ukraine.”

The UK first started shipping Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine last year, which marked a significant escalation of NATO support since they have a range of 155 miles, further than any other NATO-provided missile. France has also provided Ukraine with a French variant of the Storm Shadow, known as the Scalp missile, but doesn’t have troops helping with targeting on the ground, according to the leaked recording.

In the recording, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, the head of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), described how the British assist Ukraine. “When it comes to mission planning, I know how the English do it, they do it completely in reachback. They also have a few people on the ground, they do that, the French don’t.”

Gerhartz was discussing the possibility of Germany providing Ukraine with Taurus missiles, which would double Ukraine’s strike capabilities as they can hit targets up to 300 miles away. In the conversation, the officers say Taurus missiles could likely be used to blow up the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian mainland and has been attacked twice by Ukraine.

The Kremlin said that the leaked conversation “makes it clear that plans to carry out strikes inside Russia are under discussion” within the German military.

The leaked recording came after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suggested British and French troops were inside Ukraine. He made the comments while explaining his reasoning for not supplying Ukraine with the Taurus missiles, saying it would require a German troop presence to match the level of British and French support for Ukraine’s use of the Storm Shadows.

Scholz also said providing that kind of support would make Germany a direct party to the conflict since the Taurus missiles have such a long range and can be used to hit targets deep inside Russia.

The leaked recording also comes after French President Emmanuel Macron stirred an uproar by saying sending NATO troops to Ukraine shouldn’t be ruled out despite the obvious risk of a direct Russia-NATO war, which could quickly turn nuclear. His comments highlighted the fact that the presence of NATO special operations forces inside Ukraine has been an open secret.

Last year, the Discord leaks revealed that as of March 2023, 97 NATO special operations soldiers were inside Ukraine, including 14 Americans, 50 British soldiers, 15 French troops, 17 soldiers from Latvia, and one from the Netherlands.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.