UK hits out at Russian ‘propaganda’ as second video of Defence Secretary appears

The Ministry of Defence criticised the “doctored clips” after several Cabinet ministers were targeted by imposters.

22 March 2022

Britain has accused Russia of spreading “propaganda” to distract from its atrocities in Ukraine after a second hoax video featuring Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was published.

Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been squarely blamed for the imposters’ calls with three Cabinet ministers, as officials appear to struggle to get the clips removed from YouTube.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) described the videos as “doctored clips” from the “Russian state” and issued warnings against believing their contents.

In the second video, released on Tuesday, Mr Wallace seemingly suggests to the caller, who he believed was Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal, that the UK is “running out of our own” NLAW anti-tank weapons.

The MoD said Britain has provided more than 4,000 NLAWs to Ukraine’s forces but still has “enough weapons systems to defend both UK national security and maintain our commitments” to Nato.

“This video, like most Russian propaganda, is fed out to obscure and manipulate the truth,” the statement said.

“People should be very sceptical about reporting on, and accepting as real, any part of these Russian state doctored clips.”

Talks were still ongoing to get the first clip – published on Monday evening – removed before the second emerged, the PA news agency understands.

They are presented as being from the self-styled pranksters “Vovan and Lexus” but No 10 insisted the Kremlin is behind the attempted smears.

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