Is Germany doing enough to support Ukraine? In the round at “Maybrit Illner”, the political scientist Johannes Varwick has a clear opinion and calls for understanding for Putin. Not everyone of the other guests likes that. By Arian Yazdani Kohneschahry

The war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight. The situation is particularly difficult in eastern Ukraine, as President Zelensky recently said. Meanwhile, the pressure on the federal government is also growing – above all on the chancellor. Olaf Scholz (SPD) maintains that Ukraine must not lose the war. However, the Chancellor still does not advocate a victory for Ukraine. Nevertheless, Scholz caused a surprise in the Bundestag on Wednesday when he promised to deliver an air defense system to Ukraine. But is that enough to help Ukraine win? Maybrit Illner therefore asked her guests about the question “Weak sanctions, old weapons – does that help Ukraine?” to discuss.

Guest at “Maybrit Illner”:

How did the discussion go?

Hostess Maybrit Illner slowed down a real debate for far too long and instead cheerfully asked her guests about Olaf Scholz. Robert Habeck (Greens) asked her if Scholz was an “insecure cantonist” – a person who could not be relied on. She wanted to know from Kevin Kühnert whether Scholz was an “announcement chancellor”. Both said no and made it clear that the federal government and the chancellor were on the same page. Journalist Eva Quadbeck did not dispute the statements made by the two politicians. Quadbeck also does not believe that Germany would do nothing. Nevertheless, it is clear “that we are at the bottom when it comes to putting our words into action”.

So does Germany have to supply more weapons so that Ukraine can win the war? At least that’s the opinion of Roderich Kiesewetter (CDU). The member of parliament calls for support for Ukraine. Germany must deliver weapons itself and not rely on a complicated exchange of rings. This is “not worthy of our country”. Johannes Varwick sees it quite differently. The arms deliveries are a thorn in the side of the political scientist.

Varwick: ‘We’re giving Ukraine false hope’

Varwick called several times for the war to be viewed with more “soberness and realism”. His supposedly sober look leads him to the demand that one must “freeze the conflict”. In return, Varwick demands that we stop using our weapons to force Ukraine to “continue a hopeless struggle.” In his opinion, this simply makes no sense. Kiesewetter shook his head without replying. Varwick followed suit and said Germany was making the war “longer and bloodier” by supplying arms.

Although Varwick pleaded for more sobriety several times, the political scientist’s words came across as rather undifferentiated. “We have to steer Ukraine,” Varwick demanded. Ukraine is lost if it doesn’t get more weapons and will then have to make concessions at some point. This statement already raised doubts about which side Varwick is on at all. But that’s not all: Varwick called for a reconciliation of interests with Putin – if necessary also “a dirty reconciliation of interests”. The West should have aimed for this before the war.

Outrage at ZDF reporter Katrin Eigendorf

“We should have accepted that Ukraine would not completely fall into the Western camp,” Varwick said. Kiesewetter’s constant shaking of his head was now joined by ZDF reporter Katrin Eigendorf. The outraged reporter asked if Varwick wanted to question Ukraine’s sovereignty and wanted to know what the balance of interests with Putin was. “Russia was a totalitarian regime even before the war,” Eigendorf interjected. Apparently, even this statement was controversial for Varwick, and so he asked the reporter the strange counter-question: “How do you know that?”