Ex-soldier shocked by Ukraine report – not only Lanz is speechless

Even after more than a year of war, the brutal images of the Russian attack on Ukraine are still shocking. In “Markus Lanz”, a former Bundeswehr soldier who volunteered to fight on the Ukrainian front in 2022 described his experiences. He not only left the ZDF moderator speechless.

Of course, on Wednesday evening “Markus Lanz” was once again about the Building Energy Act, which has been much discussed for weeks, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil spoke surprisingly openly about the disputes within the traffic light coalition. However, another guest in the ZDF moderator’s discussion group provided the moment of the evening: Ex-Bundeswehr soldier Jonas Kratzenberg made it clear how brutal the conditions in Ukraine are and how important the continued military support of Ukraine by the West is.

On Wednesday evening, in a conversation with Lanz, it became clear how opaque and chaotic the situation on the Ukrainian front really is. Kratzenberg, who voluntarily joined the Ukrainian troops for around eleven months in 2022, openly admitted: “In the beginning it was like the Wild West.” The ex-soldier fought in both Kiev and Bucha and experienced countless traumatic moments. He himself narrowly escaped death after being hit by a Russian drone and suffering a brain hemorrhage. With “Markus Lanz” he remembered: “I didn’t feel any pain and was foggy. (…) I just functioned.”

Ex-soldier Jonas Kratzenberg: “I was struck by the lack of support from Germany”

Nevertheless, Kratzenberg does not regret his deployment on the Ukrainian front, because: “I wanted to go to the Ukraine because the suffering of the Ukrainians hit me and this injustice of the aggressive war hit me.” The soldier continued: “I also have the lack of support from Germany However, he could not have guessed the level of brutality the Bundeswehr soldier encountered in the fight against the Russians. Speaking to Lanz, he explained that it is common in the Russian military for “new, fresh soldiers to be raped by old veterans”. A statement that stunned the ZDF moderator, who could only say “madness”.

The ex-soldier could tell how much Jonas Kratzenberg still has to struggle with what he experienced. However, he made it clear that he had no feeling of “fear” during the war: “When you’re in combat, you’re just there and functioning.” Nevertheless, the atrocities in Bucha in particular had left their mark on him. Kratzenberg recalled: “The way they killed there. This is completely different from the piles of corpses found in some war zones. It hits you differently.” However, the former Bundeswehr soldier did not want to answer whether he had to kill people himself. All he said was, “I’m not going to talk about that. That’s personal.”

Lars Klingbeil: “We are just beginning to fight a culture war about climate change”

While the traffic light coalition appears to be unanimous in supporting Ukraine, there is a great deal of potential for disputes, especially with regard to the energy transition and the planned heating law. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil tried on Wednesday evening to make it clear that the tensions within the government were counterproductive, because: “I want the heat transition to go ahead.”

He explained that he did not think it was “right” to take the discussion “on the open stage” because it would damage trust in politics. “I see that people are turning away from the idea of ​​climate protection. (…) We’re just starting to fight a culture war about climate change,” Klingbeil warned in an interview with Lanz. The SPD politician continues: “If the fight for gas heating suddenly turns into a culture war, then we have a problem.”

With a view to the heating law, Klingbeil said confidently: “We want to get the law through parliament before the summer recess. The thing will come.” Meanwhile, the SPD leader sounded less self-confident when looking at the future of the traffic light government. Lanz wanted to know: “How durable is the traffic light?”. Klingbeil then stammered: “We are elected until 2025.” When the ZDF presenter asked in astonishment, the politician replied almost snotty: “I assume that it will last. We are not in a situation here that I have to sugarcoat.” A surprising statement, but journalist Michael Bröcker doubted that the government would collapse. The reason? “Power is an incredibly big glue. Power welds together.”

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