With the Russian attack on Ukraine, the number of conscientious objectors in the Bundeswehr skyrocketed. For the past year, the authorities counted 951 applications for conscientious objection. Many justify their decision by not counting on an armed conflict.
According to a report, the number of conscientious objectors in the Bundeswehr increased almost fivefold last year compared to 2021 under the impact of the Ukraine war. This is reported by the editorial network Germany (RND) and refers to a spokesman for the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks. Accordingly, in 2021 a total of 201 applications for conscientious objection were received by the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks, in 2022 there were a total of 951 applications.
Since conscription was suspended in 2011, conscientious objectors are only people who are already serving in the Bundeswehr. According to the RND report, many conscientious objectors justify their applications in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and a possible escalation with the fact that they did not expect a military conflict.
According to the RND report, a spokeswoman for the Federal Office for Personnel Management in the Bundeswehr also stated in September that "the actual number of applicants for military service in the Bundeswehr has been declining since the beginning of 2022".
The political director of the "German Peace Society - United War Service Opponents", Michael Schulze von Glaßer, asked the RND for a "simple way out" for soldiers from the army, "who come to the realization in these explosive times in terms of security policy, but do not shoot at other people and wanting to kill or hurt them".
"Many of today's Bundeswehr members were lured into the army with advertising promises that have nothing to do with reality," he said. "Now many are dissatisfied and it is understandable that they want to leave the army."