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Berlin police probe leak into potential Zelenskyy trip

May 4, 2023

Berlin police launched an investigation into how details about a possible visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the German capital reached the media.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy's trips abroad are usually kept secret until the last minute Image: Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP/picture alliance

Police in the German capital said on Thursday they would open an investigation after details of a possible trip by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Germany appeared in the media.

The reports cited statements provided by unnamed sources in Berlin's police force.

"In the morning, an article appeared in a Berlin daily newspaper in which a member of the Berlin police was allegedly quoted. The press report contains confidential details of a planned operation," police said in a statement, likely referring to a report published on Wednesday by the local daily B.Z.

Investigators had launched a probe "into a suspected betrayal of secrets... in relation to a possible visit by a state president," police said in a statement.

Who published the leak?

Zelenskyy's trips abroad are usually kept secret until the last minute for security reasons amid Russia's war in Ukraine. Neither the German government nor the Ukrainian Embassy would comment on reports of Zelenskyy's planned visit to Berlin.

B.Z. first reported Wednesday that Berlin police were making preparations for a potential visit by Zelenskyy on May 13 and 14, citing unnamed sources.

Police investigate Zelenskyy visit leak: DW's Thomas Sparrow

In an unusual move, Berlin police then confirmed the report when asked about it by other news outlets, including DW. Police on Thursday defended that decision, saying that by that point, the unauthorized leak had already revealed details of the visit.

Charlemagne Prize for Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy is currently in the Netherlands. Earlier this week, he met with Nordic leaders in Helsinki. Neither of those trips were publicly announced prior to the Ukrainian leader's arrival.

The western German city of Aachen plans to award Zelenskyy the prestigious Charlemagne Prize on May 14.

The organizers of the event have announced that they are making preparations for Zelenskyy to possibly attend the ceremony in person, although there has been no official confirmation of such plans.

Other prominent dignitaries, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are expected to make the trip to Aachen for the event.

dh/rs (dpa, AFP)

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