Boris Johnson has revealed how Russian president Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him in a missile attack. The former Prime Minister made the claim during a new three-part BBC documentary.
The warning was issued during a phone call involving both leaders that took place in February 2022. It followed Boris Johnson’s last-ditch attempt to show support for Ukraine by visiting Kyiv amid growing fears of a further onslaught from Russia.
Speaking to the BBC about the growing tensions between Putin and the West, Johnson described the conversation as “extraordinary”. He explained that he warned the Russian of tougher sanctions if he decided to order an invasion of Ukraine.
"He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon, what is any time soon?’ and I said, ‘Well it’s not going to join Nato for the foreseeable future, you know that perfectly well’,” Mr Johnson explained.
"He sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that. I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate."
Other high profile names were interviewed as part of the series, starting with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who recounted a visit to Moscow and chilling deliberations with Russian officials. While the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, also made an appearance where he detailed the fight for NATO membership.
The BBC documentary is titled Putin vs The West and will air on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday (January 30). It will also be made available via on-demand service BBC iPlayer.