Boris Johnson asks Russians to reject Putin’s war in their language

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Boris Johnson has appealed in his own language to the Russian people to oppose Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

In a video message, the prime minister urged Russians to download VPNs to bypass the Kremlin’s propaganda machine and see the invasion for what it really is.

Mr Johnson said the “atrocities” committed by Russian forces – including the rape and massacre of innocent civilians – are so shocking that Mr Putin has deliberately tried to hide the truth from his people.

“Your president knows you wouldn’t support his war if you could see what’s happening,” he said.

“He knows these crimes shake the confidence of every Russian mother who proudly waves goodbye to her son as he embarks on his military journey.

“And he knows they are besmirching the honor of Russia itself. A stain that will only get bigger and more indelible with each passing day this war goes on.”

Speaking in Russian, he added: “Your President is charged with committing war crimes. But I can’t believe he’s acting on your behalf.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (12881427h) A Ukrainian in tears stands in front of a mass grave where dozens of civilians are buried, behind a church in Bucha, a city recently liberated by the Ukrainian forces were recaptured as the Russians are said to have killed hundreds of civilians in the city. Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been internationally accused of having committed war crimes. Aftermath and grief in Bucha, Ukraine after Russian attacks - April 04, 2022

A Ukrainian woman breaks down in tears outside a mass grave in Bucha, a recently retaken city where hundreds of civilians were killed (Image: Zuma Press/Shutterstock)

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (C) addresses the press in the city of Bucha, northwest of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, April 4, 2022. - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on April 3, 2022 that the Russian leadership was responsible for civilian killings in Bucha, outside of Kyiv, where bodies were found in the street after the city was retaken by the Ukrainian army. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP) (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

President Volodymyr Zelensky arriving in Bucha after the massacre (Image: AFP/Getty)

His intervention follows President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dramatic address to the United Nations Security Council, in which he accused Russia of “the most horrific war crimes” since World War II.

The Ukrainian leader called for the creation of a special court, similar to the Nuremberg trials for leading Nazis after the Allied victory.

Moscow responded by claiming that images of civilians killed by Russian soldiers in the city of Bucha were “fake news” and even staged by the Ukrainians themselves.

However, the British Ministry of Defense confirmed that analysis of satellite images from March 21 – when the city was still occupied by the Russians – showed at least eight bodies in a street.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on agricultural and fishing industry development via videoconference Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

President Vladimir Putin faces war crimes tribunal over Ukraine’s shocking massacres (Image: AP)

Mr Zelenskyy’s call for a war crimes tribunal was backed by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who said President Putin could be charged with the crime of aggression.

“I think he could be indicted very quickly because the evidence is clear that he is planning, preparing and executing an invasion,” he told Newsnight.

“We had to do that in Rwanda. We had to do it in relation to Liberia. We have also done it in relation to other countries in Yugoslavia.

“They could issue an arrest warrant, not just for Putin, but for much of his inner circle who colluded with him in these acts.”

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Justin Scacco

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