Russia reacts to Boris Johnson’s, ‘if Vladimir Putin was a woman…’ remark

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed that the ‘crazy, macho’ invasion in Ukraine which has killed hundreds of innocents ‘is a perfect example of toxic masculinity’ and if Russian President Vladimir Putin was a woman the war could have been avoided. 

“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has,” Johnson told German broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday evening. 

The comment wasn’t taken very well by Russia. Irked by Johnson’s remarks Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state news agency RIA Novosti that “good old (psychoanalyst Sigmund) Freud would have loved having in his lifetime such a subject for his research”.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, meanwhile, accused Johnson of harbouring “sweaty fantasies”. “What have the 7 been doing together?”, she wrote on messaging app Telegram, referring to a recent gathering of the Group of Seven leaders in Germany.

Johnson’s comments come ahead of a Nato meeting where allies will discuss how to respond to future threats. Eventhough Downin Street says the remark “not a deliberate policy” to publicly belittle Mr Putin. Western allies must support Ukraine to enable it to be in the best possible strategic position in the event that peace negotiations with Moscow do become possible, he added.

During the ZDF interview, the British prime minister also acknowledged that “of course people want the war to end”, but for the moment “there’s no deal available. Putin isn’t making an offer of peace”. Johnson’s comments about Russia’s president echo those he made during a discussion with G7 leaders at a meeting in Germany earlier this week. The leaders mocked the macho portrayal of Mr Putin, with Mr Johnson jokingly suggesting they “show them our pecs” to prove “we’re tougher than Putin”.

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