There is an initial suspicion of sexual assault, insults with a possible racist background and extremist behavior against ten Bundeswehr soldiers on an armored infantry platoon of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence operation in Lithuania.

This emerges from a letter from the Defense Ministry to the chairmen of the Defense Committee in the Bundestag on Monday, which the FAZ has and which the magazine Der Spiegel first reported on Tuesday.

Lorenz Hemicker

Editor in politics

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    The soldiers are charged with singing right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic songs at a celebration. In addition, there is said to have been a suspected sexual assault there, which was apparently also filmed. The Bundeswehr has now recalled four of the ten soldiers from Lithuania based on the current state of the investigation. A victim was also flown home. All alleged perpetrators and victims were spatially separated.

    As the letter further shows, the incidents are said to have occurred as early as the end of April as part of a so-called recovery measure in a hotel in Rukla.

    According to the letter to the officers, the superiors of the train only became aware of the incidents on June 8, when a soldier reported.

    Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) announced that she would take tough action against the soldiers' alleged misconduct.

    "Whatever has happened is in no way acceptable."

    FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann spoke with a view to the alleged perpetrators to the FAZ of "stupid men" who had obviously "given their brains at the door".

    At the same time, she criticized the Ministry of Defense for the fact that the committee was informed too late about the incidents.