By Chris King • 30 January 2023 • 3:13
Image of Vladimir Putin.
Credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO/Shutterstock.com
In a three-part documentary broadcast on BBC2 this Sunday, January 29, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him. This bizarre incident occurred during a telephone conversation with the Russian President on February 2, 2022.
According to Boris, it happened before the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine. He had just returned from a visit to Kyiv and subsequently had what he described as a ‘very long, most extraordinary call’ with the Kremlin.
As he explained in ‘Putin vs the West’, the Russian leader at that time maintained he would never invade his former Soviet neighbour. But, even as they spoke, battalions from the Russian military were building close to the border with Ukraine.
Boris said that he warned Putin not to try and invade because that would only lead to sanctions against Moscow. He also pointed out that such a move would mean ‘more NATO, not less NATO’ on Russian borders.
Boris recalled: “He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO any time soon. What is any time soon?’ and I said ‘Well it’s not going to join NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectively well'”.
“He sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that”, the former PM continued.
He suggested: “I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate”.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also appears in the documentary. he detailed his trip to Moscow where he sat with his counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, as well as Valery Gerasimov, then the Russian chief of general staff,
“I remember saying to Minister Shoigu ‘they will fight’ and he said, ‘my mother is Ukrainian, they won’t!’. He also said he had no intention of invading”, recalled Mr Wallace. “That would be ‘Vran’e’ in the Russian language. ‘Vran’e’ I think is sort of a demonstration of bullying or strength: I’m going to lie to you”, he explained.
“You know I’m lying. I know you know I’m lying and I’m still going to lie to you. He knew I knew and I knew he knew. But I think it was about saying: I’m powerful. It was the fairly chilling but direct lie of what they were not going to do that I think to me confirmed they were going to do it”, he continued.
Wallace added: “I remember as we were walking out General Gerasimov said, ‘Never again will we be humiliated. We used to be the fourth army in the world, we’re now number two. It’s now America and us’. And there in that minute was that sense of potentially why they were doing this”, as reported by express.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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