The AfD board of directors has warned three deputies of the Bavarian state parliament. They “watched” Putin’s “re-election” in Russia.

Ulrich Singer, member of the Bavarian state parliament, at an AfD event

Whose bread do I eat, whose bread do I sing? Ulrich Singer traveled to Russia to play the role of Putin's election observer Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa

SEDAN taz | This is somewhat reminiscent of the usual situation in AfD: once again, AfD politicians have pleased Russia's authoritarian regime by traveling, among other places, to Vladivostok as pseudo-election observers and then overlooking Putin's “re-election” on television Russian state. It wasn't the first time, it probably won't be the last.

The AfD has developed a certain routine in these cases to at least maintain the appearance to the outside world that such trips to Russia are being condemned in order to avoid excessive damage to its image: the federal executive committee asks those affected to report or simply decides some regulatory measures, which don't really harm anyone, so that you can get back to work as soon as possible.

This is what happened to the three deputies of the Bavarian state parliament, Andreas Jurca, Elena Roon and Ulrich Singer. The taz has received a resolution to issue warnings to the tour group by the party leadership. The three traveled to Russia from March 13 to 18 as supposed election observers (the OSCE is not authorized). As Putin's indirect agents, they praised wonderful democracy and transparent ballot boxes on the Russia Today TV channel.

The warning does not have serious consequences, but is only a formal warning that more serious measures can be taken next time. On March 4, the board warned those affected not to make the trip. They didn't stick to it. The affected members of the Bavarian federal parliament have not yet responded to a taz request.

some are saved

But even this relatively mild measure was not adopted unanimously by the Federal Executive Committee: three members of the Federal Executive Committee did not vote in favor of the warnings. According to information from taz, they were Christina Baum, Maximilian Krah and Martin Reichhardt.

The question of why Olga Petersen from the Hamburg community did not receive a warning was left completely open. She also played the role of “election observer” on Russia Today and praised Putin's elections. But apparently the board forgot to reprimand them. It's probably difficult to keep track of so many trips to Russia.

Petr Bystron, against whom there are currently accusations of corruption (it is said that he even accepted money for propaganda services), secretly traveled to Belarus in 2023 despite the war in Ukraine, without to this day the destination, the objective and the travel plan are clear. An AfD delegation even wanted to travel through Russia to the Donbass war zone in September 2022, but in this case was successfully summoned by the federal executive committee.

Shortly after the poison attack on Navalny in 2021, AfD leader Alice Weidel also traveled to Moscow with Bystron ahead of the Ukraine war. And co-director Tino Chrupalla was proudly welcomed by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in 2020. He also continued to maintain contacts, even after Russia's attack on Ukraine. Tino Chrupalla celebrated Liberation Day in 2023 at the Russian embassy and laid a wreath next to the Russian ambassador on the anniversary of the defeat in Stalingrad, which was harshly criticized even in the AfD circle.

And the main candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, is at the center of a Russian disinformation campaign around the “Voice of Europe” propaganda portal.

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