Britain can ‘kick Russia in the backside,’ London claims
According to the defense secretary, Putin has gone “full Tonto” over Ukraine
The British Army can deal a heavy blow to Moscow’s troops and kick Russia in the “backside” if push comes to shove, the UK’s defense secretary has declared amid an escalating standoff over Ukraine.
In a speech to military personnel on Wednesday, Ben Wallace insisted that history shows the UK’s soldiers would be able to take on the Eastern European nation’s forces if required, based on their defeat in the 19th century Crimean War.
According to the minister, the Scots Guards regiment “kicked the backside of Tsar Nicholas I in 1853 in Crimea,” and “can always do it again.”
“Tsar Nicholas I made the same mistake [President Vladimir] Putin did… he had no friends, no alliances,” he added.
Wallace also claimed that Britain’s army is going to be working overtime as tensions flare between Moscow and Kiev. “Unfortunately we’ve got a busy adversary now in Putin, who has gone full Tonto,” the minister claimed.
His remarks come after the Russian president announced that Moscow would recognize the two breakaway Donbass regions as independent states.
In recent days, both Kiev’s army and those loyal to the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have accused each other of aggression in the form of heavy fire across the contact line. Last Friday, the rebel leaders claimed they had intelligence suggesting that Ukraine is prepared to order an offensive to reclaim the two territories.
Kiev, however, has rejected allegations that it is positioning itself to strike, with the secretary of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, Alexey Danilov, claiming “there is an attempt to provoke our forces,” and that troops would open fire only “if there is a threat to the lives of our service members.”
Over the past few months, Western officials have sounded the alarm that Russia could order an offensive against Ukraine. US President Joe Biden said last week that the sharp spike in fighting may be the beginning of a “false flag” operation, giving Moscow’s troops an “excuse to go in” and invade. The Kremlin has consistently denied that it has any plans to attack, however.
In another fiery outburst in January, a Polish member of the European Parliament, Radosław Sikorski, threatened that Russia could “get a kick in the balls” if it tries to assert control of his country. He also claimed Moscow is a “serial rapist” in Eastern Europe.