Boris Johnson, the then-prime minister of the United Kingdom, claimed that Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile strike during a phone call before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The news came into the picture in a documentary that was shown on BBC News, where Putin’s interactions with other world leaders were examined carefully.
Boris’ Talk with Putin
In February 2022, Boris Johnson got a phone call before Russia attacked Ukraine. Boris, while on the phone call, warned Putin that war would be an absolute catastrophe, to which Putin replied that it would take only a minute. Further, Johnson informed Putin that conquering Ukraine would lead to western sanctions, which mean that Russia will be subject to some strict penalties that will eventually lead to their doom. Boris also gave him a warning that there would be more NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) troops on Russia’s borders if he decided to go ahead with the invasion.
On the contrary, Putin threatened Boris by saying that he doesn’t want to cause any harm or hurt Boris, but for him, it will take only a minute to launch a missile or something like that, which will be a problem for the then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Putin seems Relaxed and Detached
Boris also points out that Putin had a very relaxed tone and an air of detachment about him, which shows that he was just playing along and had no serious thoughts to negotiate.
Boris Johnson said that President Putin was very familiar with him during the phone call. Hence, it was not easy to figure out whether the threat was real or if he was just playing along.
Johnson was still serious about Putin’s threat to the UK, as Russia had attacked Salisbury in 2018, which was very recent. Boris understood that Russia wielded so much power that he had no choice but to take it seriously.
Meeting among Defence Secretaries
Ben Wallace, the Defense Secretary, went to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, on February 11, 2022, to talk about the matter. Wallace left with assurances that Russia would not conquer Ukraine, but both sides knew that it was a lie.
This can be described as a presentation of his power and the fact that he can bully other powers. It was as if he were openly saying that he was lying, and the other person knew he was lying, and he knew that the other person knew he was lying about it. It was terrifying, but it was also a direct lie that Russia would not invade Ukraine.
Russia’s chief of general staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, told Wallace, as he was leaving the meeting, that they will never again be humiliated.
Russia invaded Ukraine
On February 24, as the tanks rolled on the borders of the UK, Boris Johnson received a phone call from President Zelenskiy in the middle of the night. Johnson recalled that he was very subtle and calm, and he gave the information that Russia had started the war and was attacking everywhere.
Boris Johnson tried his best and told President Zelenskiy that he could move him from there and move him to some other quarters for his safety, but he didn’t take any help and heroically stayed there where he was.
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