Vladimir Putin can go screw himself on this one
I think I can speak for the whole of the United Kingdom, unofficially of course, when I say that Vladimir Putin’s threats carry no weight here. Despite the Kremlin’s threat that the UK risks being destroyed for its decision to supply Ukraine with long-range Storm Shadow missiles, we stand firm with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Vlad can go screw himself.
On Thursday, Britain became the first nation to supply Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles. The Storm Shadow cruise missile is an air-launched attack missile developed by the UK and France with a firing range of more than 250 kilometres (155 miles). Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked Western allies for long-range missiles to assist his country in defending against Russia. Britain alone has answered the call.
The Kremlin has warned that providing weapons capable of striking Russian territory could lead to escalation in the war, including an attack on countries that assist Ukraine. We think otherwise. In fact, we have a warning for Vladimir in return. Lift a finger against Britain and we will destroy you. And you know it. You see, Britain has a powerful ally known as NATO, and even a lunatic like Putin knows that he stands no chance against NATO.
In fact, that is in part what this whole thing was ostensibly about. Putin claimed to believe that Ukraine was about to join NATO, and used that as one of his several justifications for his illegal invasion of that sovereign nation in the first place. But British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the cruise missiles are Ukraine’s “best chance to defend themselves against Russia’s continued brutality,” so we gave them some. And that’s that.
The Kremlin’s remarks come ahead of a highly-anticipated counteroffensive from Ukraine to recapture its occupied territories, including Crimea, which was unlawfully annexed by Russian President Putin back in 2014. In the summer of 2022, Zelensky pledged to recapture the Black Sea peninsula, and that operation is moving ahead in force.
Meanwhile, in the United States, and in order to keep from hurting Donald Trump’s feelings, many Republicans continue to stand with Vladimir Putin. The United Kingdom has the same message for Republicans that it does for Putin. Republicans can go screw themselves. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.