Boris Johnson blasts Nigel Farage for spreading 'Kremlin propaganda' over Russian invasion of Ukraine

24 June 2024, 05:51 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 06:34

Boris Johnson has accused Nigel Farage of a "morally repugnant" repetition of Vladimir Putin's justification for the invasion of Ukraine
Boris Johnson has accused Nigel Farage of a "morally repugnant" repetition of Vladimir Putin's justification for the invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Flaminia Luck

Boris Johnson has accused Nigel Farage of a "morally repugnant" repetition of Vladimir Putin's reasons for invading Ukraine.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The former prime minister, who has championed the UK's support of Ukraine, accused the Reform UK leader of spreading "Kremlin propaganda".

Mr Farage said he was not an "apologist" for the Russian president but "what I have been saying for the past 10 years is that the West has played into Putin's hands, giving him the excuse to do what he wanted to do anyway".

Johnson has accused him of "ahistorical drivel".

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said: "Don't blame me for telling the truth about Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine. Facing up to the facts about the mistakes of the past has to be the first step towards the peaceful future we all want to see."

He added: "I am not and never have been an apologist or supporter of Putin. His invasion of Ukraine was immoral, outrageous and indefensible."

But he added: "Back in 2014, when the EU first offered Ukraine an accession agreement, I said in a speech in the European Parliament that 'there will be a war in Ukraine'. Why? Because the expansion of Nato and the European Union was giving Putin a pretext he would not ignore.

"If you poke the Russian bear with a stick, don't be surprised if he responds. And if you have neither the means nor the political will to face him down, poking a bear is not good policy."

Mr Johnson shot back: "Nobody provoked Putin. Nobody 'poked the bear with a stick'.

"The people of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly in 1991 to be a sovereign and independent country.

"They were perfectly entitled to seek both Nato and EU membership. There is only one person responsible for Russian aggression against Ukraine - both in 2014 and 2022 - and that is Putin.

"To try to spread the blame is morally repugnant and parroting Putin's lies."

The former Prime Minister has accused the Reform UK leader of spreading "Kremlin propaganda"
The former Prime Minister has accused the Reform UK leader of spreading "Kremlin propaganda". Picture: Getty

Home Secretary James Cleverly accused Mr Farage of "victim blaming of the worst order" for suggesting the West provoked Mr Putin.

He said it was "completely wrong" for a British politician to be "echoing" Mr Putin's justification for the war.

He told GB News: "There is a strong track record of Western leaders and Western countries trying to bring Russia into the fold as it were, to try and show Russia and Russians that there was a peaceful, prosperous future for them.

"Time and time again now we've seen Putin reject the peaceful, more prosperous options and he's waged conflict in Ukraine, Russian troops in Georgia, Russian troops in other countries around eastern Europe.

"To suggest somehow that those countries brought it upon themselves, I think, is victim blaming of the worst order."

Read more: Terror in Russia: Gunmen open fire at synagogue and Orthodox churches killing 15 police officers

Read more: Flights from Manchester Airport 'expected to resume' on Sunday as travel boss apologises for mass cancellations

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The collision - involving two vehicles - happened on the A61 Barnsley Road between Staincross, Barnsley, and Newmillerdam, Wakefield

Six people - including two children - die after horror crash between car and motorbike

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses his VP Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris promises to do everything in her power to defeat Donald Trump after Joe Biden drops out of race

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden

Jill Biden breaks silence with short emotional tribute to husband Joe after he drops out of Presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting  2024 US presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting 2024 US presidential race

President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 Presidential Race and has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Nominee.

Kamala Harris says she is running for President in first statement since Joe Biden's shock withdrawal

Joe Biden (l) and Kamala Harris (r)

As Joe Biden steps aside who replaces him as the Democrat candidate to take on Trump and what happens now?

Live
President Biden Addresses The Nation From The White House Oval Office

Joe Biden quits 2024 US election LIVE: President Biden backs VP Kamala Harris as Trump hits out at 'unfit' leader

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event yesterday

Donald Trump slams Joe Biden as ‘worst president in history’ and says Kamala Harris will be ‘easier to beat'

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 presidential race

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 US presidential race

Biden withdraws from US presidential race

Joe Biden has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as Democratic Presidential nominee

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

The 152nd Open - Day Four

American Xander Schauffele crowned The 152nd Open Champion as he finishes -9 to win in Royal Troon

Breaking News

England beat the West Indies by 241 runs in second Test at Trent Bridge

It comes as a TikTok sleuth who joined the hunt for missing teen Jay Slater said he believes the 19-year-old remains trapped in a Tenerife ravine.

Jay Slater's family blast trolls over bogus leads following sightings on the ‘Eurostar’ and ‘watching the Euros’

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

The M25 motorway closures are to set to cause travel chaos

Motorway misery: M25, M4 and M1 closures set to disrupt drivers this week – find out if you’re affected