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Consequences of Putin’s war underestimated: Bundeswehr does not send aid to Berlin – disaster not yet declared – Berlin

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When the representatives of the red-green-red Senate in Berlin were still considering a request for administrative assistance to the Bundeswehr on Thursday, there was already an internal refusal in the afternoon. During an internal video conference with representatives of various Senate administrations and aid organizations, a representative of the Bundeswehr’s Berlin State Command has already sent a stop signal.

As several conference participants reported to the Tagesspiegel, Lieutenant Colonel Sven Brozeit clearly rejected Berlin’s request to send soldiers to help war refugees from Ukraine. Consequently, he keeps
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) makes a case-by-case decision for requests for administrative assistance. However, for the time being no request from the federal states would be confirmed.

The cancellation is justified by the current situation, for example with the reinforcement of the NATO Response Force. Meanwhile, employees of the Senate administrations openly admit that the consequences of Putin’s war in Ukraine were initially underestimated. “We are behind the situation and we cannot get ahead of the situation,” a senior official told the Tagesspiegel.

However, the Senate is still reluctant to declare an emergency. According to conference participants, a representative of a district office said, “Berlin would drop its pants if we got the Bundeswehr without even beginning to use the available resources of the Berlin state.” you just have to get organized.

Interior does not want to declare major damage so far

The reason for the criticism both from the districts and from the higher level of the social administration is the refusal of the interior administration, headed by Iris Spranger (SPD), to declare the so-called major accident or disaster. This could allow the confiscation of housing for refugees through civil protection. In addition, employees and companies could more easily be used as helpers.

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Employers would be obliged to release volunteers, for example from the German Red Cross and the Federal Agency for Technical Assistance. Clear leadership structures would be deployed in the districts. staff outside
administrations could more easily turn directly to helping refugees. Necessary materials, such as tents, mobile beds and toilets, could be more easily obtained, despite spending restrictions due to the current provisional budget.

The many volunteer helpers could also be better registered and coordinated by the state. At the same time, pressure would increase on other federal states to take in war refugees from the center of Berlin.

Giffey doesn’t want to declare a disaster yet.

Berlin’s ruling mayor, Franziska Giffey (SPD), had already told the Tagesspiegel on Thursday that she did not want to declare a disaster in Berlin, which is called a major disaster in technical jargon. “We are not yet at the point of a disaster. If we manage to distribute the refugees in federal solidarity and with the support of the federal government, we will not need this instrument,” she Giffey said.

Internally, there are other speculations about why the Senate Chancellery of the Mayor’s Office and the Interior Administration refuse to declare the major accident. In other Senate administrations and in district offices it was said that
then the interior administration would have to take the lead and therefore interior senator Iris Spranger (SPD) would be politically responsible.

District offices have long been demanding that a disaster be declared

At the labor level, the administrations of the Senate and the district offices have been calling for a major disaster or accident to be declared for some time. Until now, there has been no clear leadership. Although for the moment the occupation of gyms is to be avoided, districts have been asked for a long time if they can comply with the regulations of offering one bed for every thousand inhabitants.

The beds were installed in the first hall of Messe Berlin on Friday night. More rooms for the refugees are expected to be prepared in the coming days. The old Tegel airport could follow over the weekend, according to Senate circles. Internal Senate calculations now assume that an average number of one million war refugees could come to Germany.


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