Putin to ‘exploit instability’ with ‘most powerful weapon’ as top Ukraine ally distracted

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As Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Prime Minister last week, he was quick to stress that his stepping down would not impact the UK’s steadfast support for Kyiv. However, Dr Marina Miron, of the Centre for Military Ethics at King’s College London, told Express.co.uk that the Russian leader will “absolutely” look to exploit the chaos of a new Prime Minister moving into No 10 to push forward in Ukraine.

She said: “It’s a great opportunity for Russia, especially on the information battlefield.

“And even before the whole situation in Ukraine, Russia has been known to exploit political instability in any country, be it France, be it the United States.”

She added: “That’s a great opportunity because in Russian doctrine, the most powerful weapon is information.

“They stress it in a lot of military writings.”

She continued on to argue that with the impacts of levelling sanctions at Moscow being felt by the likes of the UK, but failing to stop Russia’s war machine, will be a weak spot that plays to the Kremlin’s advantage.

She remarked: “That’s where Russia will try to step in and to exploit that in information operations.”

She added: “Britain is busy with internal politics and, being one of the biggest supporters to Ukraine, […] if I were in their situation, I would probably exploit that on the battlefield as well, knowing that there is this gap while there is chaos going on and Britain is having to deal with domestic issues.”

Mr Johnson has overseen just shy of £4bn of financial aid reaching Ukraine from the UK, and has offered some of the most strident rhetoric against Vladimir Putin of Western leaders.

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He added: “We have no doubt that Great Britain’s support will be preserved, but your personal leadership and charisma made it special.”

Mr Johnson spotlighted the UK’s continued support for Kyiv as he addressed the media in front of No 10 last week.

He said: “Let me say now to the people of Ukraine that I know that we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace reiterated Mr Johnson’s words, adding the UK’s backing for Kyiv was “not just from one person”, and was therefore “full square behind” Ukraine, regardless of who occupied No 10.

Mr Wallace also took himself out of contention to replace Mr Johnson, choosing to focus on his “current job” as Defence Secretary.

He wrote on Twitter: “After careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party.

“I am very grateful to all my parliamentary colleagues and wider members who have pledged support.”

He added: “It has not been an easy choice to make, but my focus is on my current job and keeping this great country safe.”



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