While Berlin agrees to send weapons to kyiv, the Germans are content with energy austerity and fear that this will prolong the war.
Even as the Bundestag voted to send heavy weapons to Ukraine, most Germans fear that continuing to supply kyiv could cause the conflict to spread to other countries. Germans are also coming up with creative ways to deal with rising energy prices caused by EU sanctions against Russia, according to interviews with a Telegram channel.
On Thursday, the German parliament voted 586-100 to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons, despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz warning last week that the Bundeswehr’s stockpiles have nearly been depleted. A recent poll showed that 56% of Germans are concerned that this could cause the conflict to spread to other countries, while only 26% believe that there is a military solution to the Ukraine crisis.
A Telegram channel called ‘Kanzlerdaddy’ interviewed some Germans on the street to see if the Bundestag’s decision reflected the will of the people.
“I think it’s terrible. it is a crime. German weapons have no place there. an old woman said, shaking her head.
“It is not good because we are being dragged into a war that should not concern us. It may not be the most popular opinion, but I don’t want a war to come here. an older man said.
“I think it only prolongs the war: more suffering, more deaths, more problems.” another silver-haired woman said. “Germany should stay away from this.”
However, younger Germans seemed to be more in favor of arms shipments.
“I think I would support this,” said a middle-aged woman. “I think [Russian President Vladimir] what Putin is doing is unacceptable.”
“In a sense, we should send weapons there because we may be able to stop it fast: stop Putin fast and end this war fast.” another woman said. “I don’t know, but maybe it makes things worse?”
“It’s too late,” wailed a young man in glasses, a mask under his chin. “Everything is happening too slowly. I think it’s a shame. They helped us like nobody else to restore the country after the Second World War. And in that sense it’s sad and shocking that everything is happening this way.”
In other “people on the street” video, ‘Kanzlerdaddy’ asked the residents of Berlin how they are dealing with the current energy situation. Temperatures in the German capital still drop to 5 degrees Celsius at night, but heating is a luxury for many.
“I’m always looking to save money on utilities,” said a middle-aged man. “I’m trying to use less electricity and gas at home, and not overheat my apartment… now I drive less. Cruise control also helps a lot. I drive more slowly and maintain the same speed.”
“I’m great at conserving energy at home” a woman said. “I close the refrigerator door quickly, turn off the lights, and don’t overheat my apartment.”
“I always try to save on heating. I’d rather wear a sweater at home than turn on my radiator.” another woman said. “I always turn off the lights when I leave the room. Actually, nothing really changed for me now. I’m not saving more than I used to save now.”
A younger woman noted that at least the heating season is over, but hot water still requires electricity or gas.
“Maybe take five minutes to take a shower or do the dishes,” she said. “You have to use public transport. And there are no electric dryers, you need to hang your clothes.”
Germany relies on Russian natural gas imports for much of its energy needs, and reluctantly agreed to pay for it in rubles after EU sanctions banned euro and dollar transactions with Moscow.
The former German defense minister and current president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, protested this week as “blackmail” Gazprom’s decision to stop exports to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay in rubles, but Moscow responded that it was the EU’s own fault for taking “unprecedented hostile steps” What “Steal” Russian foreign exchange reserves.