NewsFormer British defense secretary accuses Russia of outright lying

Former British defense secretary accuses Russia of outright lying

Government Ministers Attend Final Weekly Cabinet Meeting Before Summer. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace resigns from his position.
Government Ministers Attend Final Weekly Cabinet Meeting Before Summer. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace resigns from his position.
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5:39 PM EST, November 25, 2023

In an interview with the BBC, Ben Wallace detailed his Moscow visit that took place just 10 days before Russia's invasion of Kyiv. At the time, he had appealed to the Kremlin not to initiate a conflict that could claim lives. However, he feels that he did not receive an honest response. "They lied. They promised me they would not attack Ukraine," the politician recalls.

Wallace, a Tory MP, and a former British Army officer, served as the UK's Secretary of State for Defense from 2019 to 2023. He recounted his February 2022 Moscow visit to the British broadcaster, terming it the "last roll of the dice" in the face of the imminent war.

Even then, Russia was already displaying several alarming signs indicative of later events. Military maneuvers in Belarus and a hostile narrative against Kyiv initiated by the Kremlin many months prior had prompted international restlessness and incited theories of an impending conflict.

Eager to prevent an impending catastrophe in Europe, Wallace visited Russia's capital. There, he spoke with the Russian defense minister and the Russian General Staff's Chief, Sergei Shoigu.

"I implored them not to do this. But it was clear they were intent to go ahead," the British politician recalls. He emphasizes that, for a moment, he believed his appeals might make a difference.

Wallace: "I've buried too many soldiers; no one wants war"

"I've buried too many soldiers, I know we don't want war," Wallace expressed his sentiment. "I don't want Russians to die, or anyone, for that matter," he attempted to persuade the Russian officials.

Wallace expressed his concern that his honest outlook caused dismay among his Kremlin counterparts. Seemingly, the Russian commanders were unprepared for an open discussion. "When they blatantly lied, assuring me they would not attack Ukraine, I understood that this was exactly what was going to happen," Wallace admits.

The accuracy of his intuition became evident just ten days later, on February 24th, when Kiev faced a brutal attack. Wallace, deeply affected by Ukraine's fate, withdrew from the Prime Ministerial race to assist Ukraine.

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