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6 Apr, 2022 07:27

Britain tells Russians to use VPN

PM Boris Johnson addressed Russian citizens directly for the second time since the conflict with Ukraine started
Britain tells Russians to use VPN

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 asked Russians to trust Kiev’s unverified civilian murder accusations against Moscow and to be as horrified about them as, what he described 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 has denied the allegations and insists the Ukrainian government is 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 alleged crimes were “a stain on the honor of Russia itself.” He called on the Russian people to share the claims, saying that “history will remember who looked the other way.”

It’s not the first time Johnson has directly addressed the Russian people since Moscow attacked Ukraine, 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 so-called British government “anti-propaganda” unit.

Russia called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting after Kiev voiced its allegtions of war crimes in Bucha. Britain, the current president of the international security body, refused to allow it on Monday and scheduled it for Tuesday instead.

During the meeting, the parties traded accusations, while neutral nations like China said a thorough investigation should be conducted before blame could be assigned.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.