Germany names 'brash' Boris Pistorius as new defence minister

Boris Pistorius, Germany’s new defence minister, is an unknown on the world stage but he is an experienced politician with credentials in security and a history of straight talking.

Pistorius, 62, from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), will graduate to the job from his current post as interior minister in Lower Saxony state, which he has held since 2013.

The man referred to by Der Spiegel magazine as the “red general” has a reputation as a straight talker who can appear undiplomatic at times.

Dear Spiegel called him a “sharp-tongued” politician who has “repeatedly made his mark on domestic policy”, especially through much lauded efforts to reform the police in his state.

“Pistorius is considered impatient, occasionally comes across as brash and can sometimes barely conceal it when he is annoyed with others,” the NDR broadcaster wrote of him in September.

However, NDR also praised his ability to “get the job done”, while also looking beyond regional concerns “to Europe and to federal politics”.

In May last year, Pistorius was forthright about Ukraine’s right to recapture territories taken by Russia, putting him at odds with many other Social Democrats who had been reluctant to endorse a counteroffensive.


“The recapture of occupied territories is legitimate and completely correct and must also be supported by us. Ukraine must win the war,” he told the TV show “Beisenherz”.


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