It is Johnson, not Putin, who has gone ‘full tonto’, Russian official suggests

Maria Zakharova said ‘similar adjectives’ to those used about the Russian leader could be directed at Britain’s PM.

25 February 2022

The Defence Secretary could have used “similar adjectives” to describe Boris Johnson when he told troops that Vladimir Putin had gone “full tonto”, Russia has said.

Ben Wallace made the unguarded comments while chatting to serving military personnel at the Horse Guards building in Westminster on Wednesday.

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, he said: “It’s going to be a busy Army.

“Unfortunately we’ve got a busy adversary now in Putin, who has gone full tonto.”

Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman, was asked about the comments by Sky News at a press briefing on Friday.

According to the translation on Sky News, she said it was “surprising that such evaluations are given by (the) defence minister of the UK regarding authorities of a different state”.

She added: “I think he could have thought up of similar adjectives… thinking of (the) British Prime Minister if we talk about personal judgment.”

Ukraine – Russian tensions
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, right, made the comments while speaking to military personnel at the Horse Guards building in Westminster (Dave Jenkins/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA)

Mr Wallace, a former Scots Guards officer, also said on Wednesday that his regiment had “kicked the backside” of Tsar Nicholas I during the Crimean War and “we can always do it again”.

He said: “Tsar Nicholas I made the same mistake Putin did… he had no friends, no alliances.”

Mr Wallace’s assessment of the Russian president came after Mr Johnson accused Mr Putin of being “in an illogical and irrational frame of mind”.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.