sunk his own career
German Navy Vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach announced his resignation Saturday after his comments about the ongoing crisis at the Ukrainian border provoked outrage, The Guardian reported.
At a think-tank discussion in India on Friday, Schönbach said all Russian President Vladimir Putin really wants is "respect," and that "giving him respect is low cost, even no cost. It is easy to give him the respect he demands, and probably deserves."
Schönbach, who has led Germany's navy since March 2020, also said the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, "is gone" and will "never come back" to Ukraine.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said Schönbach's remarks were "categorically unacceptable."
According to BBC, Ukraine has also criticized Germany for its refusal to provide the former Soviet republic with weapons and other forms of "lethal aid."
Additionally, Schönbach suggested that both India and Germany could benefit from cultivating closer ties with Russia as a way to counter rising Chinese influence and preserve Christian civilization against the officially atheist Chinese Communist Party.
"India, Germany — we need Russia against China," he said to Sujan R. Chinoy, a former Indian ambassador. "Probably not from your perspective, but from my perspective. I'm a very radical Roman Catholic. I believe in God, and I believe in Christianity, and then [Russia is] a Christian country, even if Putin is an atheist, but it doesn't matter."
Putin is, at least nominally, a Russian Orthodox Christian, but has expressed discomfort with speaking publicly about his faith.