London: Just before directing Russian soldiers into Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly threatened to personally target Boris Johnson with a missile attack, according to the former UK prime minister.
A brand-new BBC documentary that will be aired on Monday claims that the apparent threat appeared in a phone call immediately before the invasion on February 24. To help Ukraine and try to stop a Russian attack, Johnson and other Western leaders had been rushing to Kyiv.
“He sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that,” Johnson cited Putin’s words.
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Johnson has emerged as one of Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine’s impassioned Western supporters. However, he claims that he made a point of informing Putin that there was no imminent prospect of Ukraine joining NATO and that any attack would mean “more Nato, not less Nato” on Russia’s borders before to the assault.
“He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon. “‘What is any time soon?’ And I said, ‘well it’s not going to join NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectly well’.”
“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 continued, regarding the missile threat
The BBC documentary tracks the widening rift between the Russian leader and the West in the years leading up to the invasion of Ukraine.
It also has Zelensky lamenting the fact that his attempts to join Nato before Russia’s strike were unsuccessful.
“If you know that tomorrow Russia will occupy Ukraine, why don’t you give me something today I can stop it with?” he says. “Or if you can’t give it to me, then stop it yourself.”