Putin should not be assassinated, Boris Johnson says
Britain’s prime minister does not support the idea of trying to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin, a spokesperson for Boris Johnson said on Friday. Asked by reporters whether he agrees with US Senator Lindsey Graham, who called for “somebody in Russia” to assassinate the country’s leader, the spokesperson firmly rejected the idea.
“No. We stand with the Ukrainian people in demanding the immediate end to the Russian invasion,” the spokesperson stated. “We have said before that Putin must be held to account before an international court for the horrific acts he has committed.”
The bizarre call was issued by the top senator on Wednesday, with Graham invoking the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar and the botched plot to kill Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler as examples of what should be done in his opinion.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” Graham asked. “The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.”
The open call for the assassination of the Russian president provoked fury in Moscow, with Russia’s Embassy in the US strongly condemning such statements, as well as demanding Washington to hold the official accountable for his remarks.
“The degree of Russophobia and hatred towards Russia is going through the roof in the United States. It is unbelievable that a senator from a country that preaches its moral values as a ‘guiding light’ for all of mankind could allow himself call for terrorism as a means to achieve Washington’s goals on the international stage,” Russia’s Ambassador in the US Anatoly Antonov said.
The hasty exchange came amid the Russian offensive in neighboring Ukraine, launched by Moscow last week. Explaining the decision to begin the large-scale military operation, Russia’s president said it was the only option left to protect the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine’s east. He also set out the goals of “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the neighboring country.
Kiev said the attack was unprovoked, insisting it had not been seeking to retake Donetsk and Lugansk by force. The two republics split from Kiev back in 2014 in the aftermath of the Maidan coup, which ousted Ukraine’s government.