Russia delighted with Boris Johnson’s fall: ‘we don’t like him either’

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Russian officials lined up on Thursday to celebrate the fall of Boris Johnson, with a leading magnate portraying the British leader as a “stupid clown” who had finally received his just reward for arming Ukraine against Russia.

Johnson was set to announce his resignation after being abandoned by ministers and his Conservative Party lawmakers, who said he was no longer fit to rule. The Kremlin also said it is not a fan of the British leader, whose parents named him Boris after a Belarusian emigrant.

“He doesn’t like us, we don’t like him either,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He said reports that Johnson would soon step down as prime minister were of little concern to the Kremlin.

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Other Russians were bolder.

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska said on Telegram it was a “glorious end” for a “stupid clown” whose conscience would be tarnished by “tens of thousands of lives in this senseless conflict in Ukraine”.

Maria Zakharova, the top spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, said Johnson’s fall was a symptom of the decline of the West, which she said was being torn by a political, ideological and economic crisis.

“The moral of the story is don’t try to destroy Russia,” Zakharova said. “Russia cannot be destroyed. You can break your teeth on it – and then choke on it.”

Even before President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Johnson had repeatedly criticized Putin, portraying him as a ruthless and possibly irrational Kremlin chief who was endangering the world with his crazy ambitions.

After the invasion, Johnson made Britain one of Ukraine’s biggest Western supporters, sent weapons, imposed some of the toughest sanctions in modern history against Russia, and urged Ukraine to defeat Russia’s massive military forces.

Johnson’s support for Ukraine was such that he was affectionately referred to as “Borys Johnsoniuk” by some in Kiev. He sometimes ended his speeches with “Slava Ukraini” – or “glory to Ukraine”.

Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit campaign who took a resounding electoral victory in 2019 before leading the United Kingdom out of the European Union, even spoke stilted Russian in February, telling the Russian people he didn’t believe the “unnecessary and bloody” thing. . war was in their name.

Russia repeatedly dismissed him as an ill-prepared jester trying to punch well beyond the true weight of Britain.

Zakharova gaily portrayed him as the author of his own demise.

“Boris Johnson was hit by a boomerang he launched himself,” she said. “His comrades-in-arms have reported him.”

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Editing by Mark Trevelyan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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