The striker mirror

In a nutshell: SPIEGEL "experts" accuse Russia of an economic war that does not exist. The "Spiegel" has often interviewed Russian experts, who are considered independent, but in their assessment – above all – should fit into the overly Russia-critical "concept". According to a certain energy expert Mikhail Krutichin, it is precisely Russia that is driving up energy prices in Europe – although even German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already rejected such accusations.

German media from Tagesschau to Bayerischer Rundfunk have been writing for some time that energy prices in Europe would explode mainly because the economy is recovering quite quickly after the corona crisis and the demand for gas and oil is increasing. The gas storage facilities in Europe have not yet been completely refilled after the comparatively cold winter of 2020/21, it said.

The temptation is great

However, some journalists are inclined to blame the Russian energy company Gazprom, which, like all corporations, has no image of an innocent lamb, because of rising gas prices. The "time" author Michael Thumann suspected in a comment under the name "Get out of the trap!" the machinations of Gazprom and Russia - keywords: "Russia is allegedly holding back gas supplies". Earlier, in a "FAZ" article, the energy expert Stefan Meister from the DGAP was also allowed to claim (again unfounded) that Gazprom is holding back gas supplies to Europe. Austrian Russia expert Gerhard Mangott also pointed out Meister's miscalculation: no, all contractually agreed delivery quantities would be delivered by Gazprom and would be at the level of 2019, Mangott argued.

Rainer Seele, President of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK), also publicly called for cooperation instead of confrontation with Moscow: "The accusations towards Moscow of blackmailing its partners to fill the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline with gas faster are baseless and absurd," explained soul on the occasion of the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum (SPIGF).

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed caution and protected Russia in the face of high gas prices. Referring to allegations of a shortage of gas supplies from Russia, she said on October 6: "Russia can only supply gas on the basis of contractual ties and not just like that." At the end of October, the problem will be discussed in more detail at an EU summit.

But the temptation to attack the Russians again is too great. That is why some correspondents do not give up, including the Moscow "Mirror" liar Christian Esch. "Here, in fact, a war is declared," says his October 17 article, for which he interviewed Moscow energy expert Mikhail Krutichin. (Editor's note: The headline has since been changed by Der Spiegel and now reads: "Gazprom says you will freeze in winter"."Is Russia driving up gas prices in Europe?", is the question at the beginning of the article. Yes, Krutichin says. He is sure: Putin wants to force Europeans to postpone the transition to renewable energy. Gazprom and Russia had deliberately fueled the price increase and opted for "blackmail" and "confrontation". This is followed by many more assessments of him in this kind.

Economic education?

A look at his professional activities could make Krutichin's assessments more understandable. Currently, Krutichin and his current boss Yuri Kogtev, as can be seen from the self-description of the agency "Rusenergy", work for US clients and should, for example, clarify where the "weakness" (weakness) of the Russian opponent lies - a kind of economic enlightenment. At the same time, the two gentlemen give the "independent" and "Kremlin-critical" scientists to "bourgeois" media. This is like introducing prostitutes as sex researchers who recommend the services of their brothels from the point of view of independent scientists.

The fact that these people get away with such spectacles also sheds light on the state of "bourgeois" journalism in Germany, which likes to boast about its investigative potential. In addition, the question arises again: What has become of the "Spiegel" as a magazine that, under its editor Rudolf Augstein, wanted to be "a liberal, if in doubt left-wing paper"?

Augstein gave his readers a critical look at the motives and methods of American geostrategists. His journalistic hereditary sneaks, however, such as the by no means neutral Swiss and foreign department head Mathieu von Rohr, who is assisted by the Moscow correspondent Christian Esch, have turned the paper into a German-language supplement of the "New York Times". Therefore, as a "Spiegel" author told me in a confidential conversation, von Rohr quotes the "New York Times" more often at the morning editorial conferences than editors of the "New Germany" Leonid Brezhnev used to.

The Green Atlantic Role must not be missing

Coincidentally – or not? on the same day that Russia "de facto declared war" on the EU - that is, when the "Spiegel" article was published – the Green Party leader Robert Habeck has now taken out the Russia pipe again. "Russia seems to be playing a kind of poker game with us," Habeck said on Sunday evening in the ARD program "Report from Berlin", Russia throttles the gas supply. "The stores are not full and the demand is high. The current federal government should talk to Russia quickly to change that," he said. Well, at least his accusations don't seem hysterical. At the end of September, his colleague Annalena Baerbock had blamed Russia directly for the "suffering" of customers in Germany, "whose gas prices will rise or, in extreme cases, even have to sit in the cold".