The Russian people “deserve the truth” about Ukraine and should use virtual private networks to “access independent information from anywhere in the world,” the British prime minister said in an address on Tuesday.
The recorded speech was partially delivered by Boris Johnson in Russian. He appealed to the Russian people to trust Kiev’s accusations against Russia and to be as horrified about them as “the world.”
“Your president stands accused of committing war crimes,” one of the parts delivered in Russian said. “But I cannot believe he’s acting in your name.”
Johnson was referring to images from Ukrainian cities, including Bucha, which Kiev claims to be evidence of atrocities perpetrated by Russian troops. Moscow denied the allegations and said the Ukrainian government was manipulating public opinion with staged scenes of brutality, which it falsely attributed to Russian soldiers.
The British prime minister expressed no doubts that Russian troops were guilty as charged and said the crimes were “a stain on the honor of Russia itself.” He called on the Russian people to share the claims about war crimes in Ukraine, saying that “history will remember who looked the other way.”
It’s not the first time Johnson directly addressed the Russian people since hostilities in Ukraine started in late February. Johnson addressed Russians in their own language saying that “I do not believe this war is in your name.” The speech was reportedly boosted on Russian social media by the Government Information Cell, a British government “anti-propaganda” unit.