The AfD's main candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, is accused of receiving money from Russia. It is not the only case.

Maximilian Krah in front of the microphones

AfD's main candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, in April in Münster Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa

SEDAN taz |To start with a joke from the depths of the Internet, it's all quite serious: the devil appears to an AfD politician and says: “I will make you incredibly powerful. For that we have to sell Germany to Putin.” The AfD politician thinks for a moment and asks: “And what is the problem?”

The devil did not appear to the AfD politician and main candidate, Maximilian Krah, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation did. The US Federal Police questioned Maximilian Krah during a trip to the United States last December. These are possible payments from sources close to the Kremlin. The informed about this. Mirror and the ZDF.

According to the report, the FBI confronted Krah during interrogation with a chat message from a pro-Russian activist who assured his acquaintance Krah that the issue of “compensation” for Krah's “technical expenses” had been resolved. Starting in May it will be like before February. The wording suggests that Krah had been paid covertly for a long time.

Krah confirmed the FBI interrogation by Mirror, but denied the accusation of having received money from the sender. The sender of the message, pro-Russian activist Oleg Voloshyn, told the magazine that he did not remember the message to his “old friend.” Krah also said that the chat message must have been intended for someone else or was an expense for an opera ticket that Krah had paid for. (This statement is obviously not a joke, editor's note.) Asked by Taz, the AfD did not want to comment on the new accusations against Krah.

impeccable democrats

Krah is far from the first AfD politician with questionable connections to Russia. Only on Wednesday the taz reported on three Bavarian AfD state parliament deputies who had traveled to Russia as self-appointed election observers to monitor Putin's unfree re-election and then give him legitimacy on Russian state television: Andreas Jurca, Elena Roon and Ulrich Singer of the Bavarian Federal Parliament. However, no official OECD election observers were admitted.

What is revealing in this case is how the party leadership handled the case. The party executive had previously sent an email to MPs asking them not to travel to Russia. Vain. He has now warned the three members, but initially this has no further consequences for them.

The case of German-Czech AfD deputy Petr Bystron is more prominent. He is running directly behind Maximilian Krah in second place on the list for the European elections. Both politicians are linked to the affair of the Russian disinformation portal “Voice of Europe”, based in Prague, which, among other things, also publishes interviews with AfD politicians.

The Czech Republic sanctioned the portal at the end of March. Prague residents are convinced that the portal not only spread disinformation in the interests of the Kremlin, but also served to covertly send funds to pro-Russian candidates for the European elections.

Krah and Bystron denied receiving money from Voice of Europe. According to a report in the Czech newspaper Denik N. However, the Czech secret service is said to have a recording that incriminates Bystron. The AfD's proximity to Russia remains a serious matter.

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