The Kremlin is none too pleased about former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to instantaneously erase him with a missile. 2023 is already nuts, although to be fair, this is a carryover from 2022.
Let’s refresh the current mess with Putin. His war on Ukraine has resulted in an untold loss of life for Ukrainian President Zelensky’s people and the Russian armies. Putin has been falsely claiming battle wins, and after Zelensky suggested that Putin might not be alive, he had to offer up high-heeled proof of life. Now, the Kremlin has been forced to answer to Johnson’s allegation, via Axios regarding a BBC interview, that a “jolly,” phone-bound Putin threatened to send a missile his way ahead of the Ukraine invasion:
“He threatened me at one point, and he said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ or something like that. Jolly,” Johnson told the [BBC] documentary, “Putin vs. the West,” airing in the U.K. on Monday.
“But 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,” Johnson said.
“Jolly” qualifier be damned, the Kremlin is already pushing back. From The Daily Beast, here’s word from spokesman Dmitry Peskov to the press:
“What Mr. Johnson said is not true, more precisely, it is a lie.” “I know what was discussed during this conversation, and once again I officially repeat: This is a lie,” Peskov continued. “There were no threats of missile strikes. Speaking about the challenges for Russia’s security, President Putin noted that if Ukraine joins NATO, the potential deployment or American missiles at our borders will mean that any missile will reach Moscow in a matter of minutes.”
That’s quite a turn of the tables that the Kremlin spokesperson is asserting, but one can also see that they cannot relish another PR nightmare atop the existing one. Putin is gonna have to hand out more fancy rings to make his supporters (those who still remain, that is) forget about this one.
(Via Axios & The Daily Beast)