Germany dismisses the head of the Army after some controversial statements about Russian superiority

Eberhard Zorn Germany

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has fired the country’s army chief, General Eberhard Zorn, 63, after being criticized for making controversial comments about Russian military capabilities in the war in Ukraine. Zorn, the Bundeswehr’s top military representative, had been in office since 2018.

In an interview with Focus magazine last year, Zorn stated that Ukraine carries out “counterattacks“, with the help of which it can recapture places on the front, but cannot push Russia back on a broad front.”

Even if around 60% of Russia’s ground forces are involved in the Ukraine war, Russian ground forces and, above all, the Russian navy and air force still have uncompromised capabilities. And, if Putin were to order a general mobilization, I wouldn’t have a staffing problem either,” Zorn said.

After that, Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, criticized his statements, assuring that it was an “astonishingly poor analysis of Russian capabilities that, unfortunately, reflects much of the thinking of the German ‘elite'”, according to indicated on his Twitter account.

Lieutenant General Carsten Breuer will replace Zorn as inspector general of the German Armed Forces, the DPA news agency has learned.

Breuer became a familiar face amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to his role as chief of the COVID-19 Crisis Staff. In addition,  Pistorius also installs his right-hand man Nils Hilmer as Secretary of State in the Bendlerblock, according to BILD.

The current Defense Minister took office in mid-January of this year, after replacing Christine Lambrecht in office, who had also been embroiled in various controversies for her statements on New Year’s Eve and in the midst of the debate over whether Berlin should send Ukraine most modern main battle tanks.