Ukraine support about 'caring for Russia and liberating it from tyranny', says ex-ambassador

22 January 2022, 17:56 | Updated: 22 January 2022, 18:11

'It's about caring for Russia': Ex-ambassador says Ukraine crisis about 'liberating Russia from tyranny'
'It's about caring for Russia': Ex-ambassador says Ukraine crisis about 'liberating Russia from tyranny'. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Tim Dodd

Former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood tells LBC that people should be concerned about the Ukraine crisis because they "should care" about liberating Russians from "tyranny".

It comes as Rory Stewart has called on Europe to provide Ukraine with weapons amid growing concerns an invasion is planned with over 100,000 Russian troops stationed at the border.

On Friday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva in a high-stakes talks that it's hoped will ease tensions.

At a press conference after the crucial negotiations, Mr Lavrov reiterated Moscow's position that it has "never threatened the Ukrainian people", adding they have no plans to attack Ukraine.

Russia's defence minister Minister Sergei Shoigu has also accepted an invitation from his UK counterpart Ben Wallace to discuss the situation.

"Why should we care, why does this matter?" David asked.

"We should actually care because we should care for Russia," Mr Wood explained.

"Russia has deteriorated, particularly over the last couple of years, into a, [to] put it bluntly, a tyranny which is in the hands of very few people.

"There are distinct differences between what people can earn, and the wealth of a few people who wish to control the country forever."

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He continued: "They do that with the exercise of great repression on the people who differ from them. They now have the largest number of political prisoners that they've ever had since the last war.

"In a way they're stuck too, they need to be liberated, and they can't be if they follow policies like trying to occupy other countries.

"Russia needs a way of reinvention. I would just add the idea that Russia should be free is part of what we'd be encouraging by resisting when they're doing something as boneheaded as this."

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