According to a new BBC documentary broadcast on Monday, the threat was made to Boris Johnson shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of the most supportive Western leaders of the Ukrainian president. He has claimed that shortly before ordering Russian forces to enter Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally threatened him with a missile attack.
According to a new BBC documentary airing on Monday, the apparent threat came in a phone call just before the February 24 attack. Boris Johnson and other Western leaders were rushing to Kiev at the time to show support for Ukraine and try to stave off a Russian invasion.
“He threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but it will only take a minute for a missile or something like that to arrive,'” Johnson quoted Putin as saying. Johnson has emerged as one of the most important Western supporters of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.
What else did Boris Johnson say?
However, Johnson said that before the Russian attack, he wanted to tell Putin that there was no chance of Ukraine joining NATO. And they also wanted to warn them that any military action would mean an increased NATO presence on Russia’s borders, not less.
“Boris, you say Ukraine will not join NATO anytime soon,” Putin said, according to Johnson. He said, “What do you mean by soon?” And I said, “Well, it’s not going to join NATO in the near future, and you know that.”
Boris Johnson added of the threat of being hit by a missile: “I think they were talking very calmly and trying to pretend to be indifferent to me. They were just playing with me.
Ukrainian President Zelensky also in the documentary
The BBC documentary chronicles the growing estrangement between the Russian president and the West over the years leading up to military action in Ukraine. It also features Ukrainian President Zelenskyi describing his failed attempts to join NATO before the Russian invasion.
“If you know that Russia is going to take over Ukraine tomorrow, why don’t you give me something today so I can stop them from doing it,” Zelensky says. “If you can’t give it to me, stop it yourself,” says the Ukrainian president.
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