Ben Wallace accuses Putin of 'fairytale' claims about threat from NATO
Ben Wallace accuses Putin of ‘fairytale’ claims about threat from NATO as he jibes that Russia has RUN OUT of precision weapons and won’t be able to restock
- Ben Wallace has accused Vladimir Putin of ‘fairytale’ claims about NATO threat
- Defence Secretary jibed that Russia has been running out of hi-tech weaponry
- Putin railed against the West’s behaviour at a military ‘victory’ rally in Moscow
Ben Wallace today accused Vladimir Putin of spouting ‘fairytale claims’ about the threat posed by NATO.
The Russian president used a speech at a military parade to paint his invasion of Ukraine as a necessary response to Western policies.
But Mr Wallace accused Putin and his ‘utterly complicit’ generals of ‘hijacking’ the memory of Russian troops repelling the Nazis in the Second World War.
He also swiped that the dictator had already suffered a long-term defeat because his precision weapons are running out and he will not be able to restock.
During an event at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, the Defence Secretary pointed out that Russia has a ‘real challenge’ to get more hi-tech ordinance.
During an event at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace pointed out that Russia has a ‘real challenge’ to get more hi-tech ordinance
Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) used a speech at a military parade to paint his invasion of Ukraine as a necessary response to Western policies
In Moscow, Mr Putin claimed that his attack on Russia’s neighbour was necessary to ward off ‘an absolutely unacceptable threat just next to our borders’
In Moscow, Mr Putin claimed that his attack on Russia’s neighbour was necessary to ward off ‘an absolutely unacceptable threat just next to our borders’.
He reportedly added at the Victory Day celebrations that the West has been ‘preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea’.
But, asked by journalists after a speech at London’s National Army Museum in Chelsea, south-west London, Mr Wallace bluntly denied that Nato and western allies have ever planned to attack Russia.
‘President Putin has made a number of fairytale claims for months and years now,’ the Cabinet minister said.
‘If it wasn’t so tragic it would be amusing, but it isn’t.
‘One of his claims is that he is surrounded. Nato accounts for 6% of his land border. That’s not being surrounded if only 6 per cent of your land border is Nato countries.
‘I think he is believing what he wants to believe – a slight shine of desperation. But let me put on the record categorically: Nato, Britain, eastern Europe is not planning to invade Russia and never has done.’
Mr Wallace accused the Russian regime of ‘mirroring (the) fascism and tyranny’ of Nazi Germany as the Moscow parade to celebrate the 1945 victory over Hitler’s forces was under way.
Downing Street backed the allegation, with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman arguing it was ‘valid’ given the ‘rhetoric being wrongly used by Putin today’.
Boris Johnson accused the Russian leader of waging an ‘unwinnable’ war ‘solely for his own vanity’.
The PM told the Standard newspaper: ‘Russians are right to commemorate their heroic role in the defeat of Nazism. But Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine shames Russia. His unwinnable war is being fought solely for his own vanity.
‘He is now expending senselessly the lives of young Russians as well as innocent Ukrainians to avoid humiliation. I have always said Putin must fail and Putin will fail because this is an ego-driven mistake.’
The Defence Secretary also said Russian suffering was used under the Soviets ‘as it is now, to cover up the inadequacy of those ruling in safety and comfort from behind the Kremlin walls’.
‘Fear and sycophancy dictated behaviours then, and today’s Russian armed forces still carry that Soviet imprint – the imprint of amorality and corruption,’ he said.
‘They are the ones who truly insult the memory of the Immortal Regiment. So let’s call out the absurdity of Russian generals resplendent in their manicured parade uniforms, weighed down by the gold braid and glistening metals.
‘They are utterly complicit in Putin’s hijacking of their forebears’ proud history of defending against the ruthless invasion, of repelling fascism and sacrificing themselves for higher purpose.
‘And now they are the ones inflicting needless suffering in the service of lowly gangsterism and for them, and for Putin, there can be no victory day, only dishonour and surely defeat in Ukraine.’
Responding to questions from the media after the speechMr Wallace said: ‘He (Vladimir Putin) is running out of his precision stock fairly quickly.
‘You know, that’s the lesson for us all. I mean, we mustn’t forget that they are showing us lessons, sadly at the expense of what’s happening Ukraine.
‘We all have highly complex weapons that, funny enough, don’t take a couple of days to replace, it can take months.
Monday’s Victory Parade was designed to project an image of Russian strength, despite the war in Ukraine grinding towards a stalemate
The 69-year-old appeared to be walking with a limp as he descended from a podium and walked to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
‘Once you fire them all in the way Russia has done, they have a real challenge and I think in the long term my point about ‘has Putin already won or lost in the long run’, you know, Putin trying to refurbish that armed forces is going to be incredibly hard. A lot of the components come from the West, he won’t be able to get hold of those.’
Mr Wallace’s speech came after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss accused Russia of war crimes over the bombing of a school in eastern Ukraine where civilians were sheltering.
Up to 60 are feared dead after the school in Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine was bombed and caught fire on Saturday.
On Sunday, G7 leaders including Mr Johnson and US President Joe Biden held talks with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Prime Minister told his counterparts ‘the world must go further and faster to support Ukraine’ against the Kremlin’s invading forces.
The UK has pledged an extra £1.3 billion in military support to Ukraine, in a dramatic escalation of assistance for Mr Zelensky’s forces.
It is the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since the height of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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