Former UK FM dreams of mutiny against Putin in prank call
The West should continue supporting Ukraine with weapons because it cannot rely on the “ideal” scenario in which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ousted from power, former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told a pair of pranksters.
The official, who held the post from 2010 to 2014, made his remarks in what he believed was a call with former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. In reality, however, he was speaking to the Russian pranksters who go under the names of Vovan and Lexus. The duo released several recordings of the conversation on Wednesday.
While discussing the prospects of further military support for Ukraine, Hague stated that “you never know when there will be some bigger crisis on the Russian side.”
“It would be ideal if the [Russian] army mutinied against Putin. But this is unlikely, we know we can’t rely on that,” he said, reiterating that the West should provide Ukraine with more arms.
He noted that history had shown that it is very difficult to oust a nation’s government from the outside. According to Hague, both the UK and the US have in the past successfully orchestrated a change of power on several occasions, but this usually happened in weaker and smaller countries. “It’s not possible to do that in Russia,” he stated.
Any such development would be possible only if huge masses of people were discontented, and there are no signs that something similar is brewing in Russia, he added.
Hague also noted that he had spoken with top UK officials, including the prime minister, who he said did not mind sending long-range missiles to Kiev, but that such steps should be coordinated with the US first.
“Britain often fulfills the role of strengthening the courage… and the resolve” of the United States, he explained. However, the UK “will not change its policy without the United States... so, the key decision is still in Washington.”
Hague is not the first Western official to have been duped by the pranksters. Last month, the pair had a conversation with former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who stated that the West should continue supporting the “brave Ukrainian people” because they “are doing the dirty work of what we never wanted to do here in the United States.”
Last May, Vovan and Lexus also pranked ex-US President George W. Bush while posing as Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Bush told whom he thought to be Zelensky that the latter’s “mission is to destroy as many Russian troops” as possible.