Boris Johnson laid into ‘crazy’ and ‘macho’ Vladimir Putin today saying he would not have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman.

The PM condemned the Russian dictator’s ‘toxic masculinity’ as he joined NATO leaders for a crucial summit in Madrid.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also waded in, branding Putin a ‘lunatic’ who has ‘small man syndrome’.

The highly personal jibes came after G7 leaders ridiculed the president for his testosterone-fuelled photo ops.

At a gathering in Germany, Mr Johnson, Justin Trudeau and the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen were overheard joking that they should do some ‘bare-chested horseback riding’ to show they were ‘tougher’ than Putin. 

In other developments in the Ukraine crisis today:

  • Joe Biden has promised to send two F-35 squadrons to the UK and two destroyers to Spain as he strengthens US forces in Europe against the Russian threat; 
  • Ben Wallace admitted the Tories will break a manifesto pledge on defence spending and called for ‘increased investment’ as Mr Johnson urged NATO members to boost funding; 
  • Mr Johnson has said Finland and Sweden moving to join the alliance shows that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has backfired;
  • Britain is imposing sanctions on Russia’s second richest man and a cousin of Putin in the latest round of measures targeting allies of the Russian leader.  

Boris Johnson laid into ‘crazy’ and ‘macho’ Vladimir Putin (pictured) today saying he would not have invaded Ukraine if he were a woman

The PM condemned the Russian dictator's 'toxic masculinity' as he joined NATO leaders for a crucial summit in Madrid (pictured)

The PM condemned the Russian dictator’s ‘toxic masculinity’ as he joined NATO leaders for a crucial summit in Madrid (pictured)

A 2009 photo of a shirtless Vladimir Putin riding a horse in the mountains of the Siberian Tyva region during his vacation

A 2009 photo of a shirtless Vladimir Putin riding a horse in the mountains of the Siberian Tyva region during his vacation

What about Catherine the Great? 

In claiming that Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine were he a woman, Boris Johnson might have overlooked one of his famous predecessors.

Catherine the Great was empress of Russia between 1762 and 1796, overseeing a massive 200,000 square mile expansion of territory.

She claimed Crimea, Northern Caucasus, Right-bank Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Courland at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Russo-Turkish War between 1768 and 1774 included notable military victories over the Ottoman Empire.

That secured Crimea – part of modern Ukraine that Vladimir Putin annexed in violation of international law in 2014. 

In Poland, Catherine – renowned for her sexual appetites – installed a former lover as a puppet King. 

The empress was credited with turning Russia into one of the great European powers after a long period of decline. 

She held together a huge and chaotic state by promoting nationalism. 

Speaking as he prepared to go from the G7 summit in Bavaria to NATO, Mr Johnson told German broadcaster ZDF: ‘If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.

‘If you want a perfect example of toxic masculinity, it’s what he’s doing in Ukraine’.

He made the comments arguing that ‘you need more women in positions of power’.

Meanwhile, Mr Wallace told LBC this morning: ‘I certainly think Putin’s view of himself and the world is a small man syndrome, macho view.

‘You rarely hear the phrase small woman syndrome. You always hear small man syndrome and he’s got it in spades.’

Mr Johnson also said the G7 meeting had been ‘incredible’ as leaders ‘got closer and closer’.

‘The logic is yes of course people all want the war to end, they want the war to end desperately, but there’s no deal available.

‘Putin isn’t making an offer of a deal, (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky can’t make an offer of a deal.’

The PM said the West must support Kyiv in its military strategy to help change the dynamic of the conflict, and to get Mr Zelensky ‘in the best possible position to talk if and when talks eventually come’.

‘We really do want to give the Ukrainians strategic endurance,’ he said.

Arriving at NATO, Mr Johnson said Putin’s hopes of a diminished alliance due to his aggression have been proved ‘completely wrong’ by Sweden and Finland applying to join.

The two Nordic countries are on track to end their historic neutrality and join the defence alliance after Turkey withdrew its objections.

The PM said Russian President Mr Putin is getting ‘more Nato’, not less, as a result of his actions in Ukraine.

NATO leaders are greeted by Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia as they attend a gala dinner in Madrid last night, ahead of the first full day of talks today

NATO leaders are greeted by Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia as they attend a gala dinner in Madrid last night, ahead of the first full day of talks today

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also waded in, branding Putin a 'lunatic' who has 'small man syndrome'

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also waded in, branding Putin a ‘lunatic’ who has ‘small man syndrome’

Baltic leaders will use today's NATO summit to lobby for 50,000 troops to be stationed on their territory amid fears Putin could cut them off with lighting assault on Sulwaki Gap

Baltic leaders will use today’s NATO summit to lobby for 50,000 troops to be stationed on their territory amid fears Putin could cut them off with lighting assault on Sulwaki Gap

G7 leaders were overhear mocking Putin's testosterone-fuelled photo ops at the weekend. Clockwise from left, Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of France, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

G7 leaders were overhear mocking Putin’s testosterone-fuelled photo ops at the weekend. Clockwise from left, Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of France, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Biden sends F-35s to UK and destroyers to Spain 

President Joe Biden arrived at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday morning and promised to send two F-35 squadrons to the U.K. and two destroyers to Spain as he strengthens U.S. forces in Europe against the threat from Vladimir Putin of Russia.

He made his announcement on the first day of a summit that began on a positive note, with Turkey dropping its objections to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.

‘We’re sending an unmistakable message in my view, and I think yours as well,’ he told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, ‘that NATO is strong, united and the steps we’re taking during this summit will kind of further augment our collective strengths.

‘To that end, today I’m announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changing security environment as well as strengthening our collective security.’

After already sending an extra 20,000 troops to Europe – bringing the total to 100,000 – he announced two more squadrons of F-35 warplanes would be sent to the U.K. and the number of destroyers based in Spain would increase from four to six.

Additional air defense systems will be sent to Germany and Italy, he said.

And the U.S. will set up up a permanent military base in Poland. 

The F-35 is the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced warplane, with air superiority and ground attack capabilities. 

The UK already has a significant military presence in Estonia and the Prime Minister will use the summit to expand its headquarters in the Baltic nation.

Officials said this will ensure the UK can provide rapid reinforcements if needed, and deploy artillery, air defence and helicopters.

The alliance plans to have 300,000 troops at high readiness – up from the current 40,000 – and the UK will commit capabilities in land, air and sea to the ‘new force model’.

Mr Johnson said: ‘The first lesson really from today is that if Vladimir Putin was hoping he would be getting less Nato on his western front as a result of his unprovoked, illegal invasion of Ukraine, he’s been proved completely wrong – he’s getting more Nato.

‘This is a historic summit in many ways, but we’ve already got two new members coming in, Finland and Sweden, a huge step forward for our alliance.

‘And what we’re going to be doing now is talking about what more we can do as an alliance to support the Ukrainians but what we also need to do to make sure that we think about the lessons of the last few months and the need for Nato to revise its posture on its eastern flank.’

As well as paving the way for Sweden and Finland to join, the Madrid summit will focus on the alliance’s future in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the emergence of China as a military power.

US President Joe Biden said two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons will be sent to the UK, while a new permanent headquarters will be set up in Poland as part of his commitment to the alliance.

‘Today I’m announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changing security environment as well as strengthening our collective security,’ he said.

Mr Wallace today admitted the Tories will break a manifesto pledge on defence spending and called for ‘increased investment’ as Boris Johnson kicks off a NATO summit urging allies to boost funding.

The Defence Secretary acknowledged that the government will not manage to raise budgets by 0.5 percentage points more than inflation, as it soars towards 11 per cent.

But he fuelled a growing Cabinet row by demanding a surge in military spending from the ‘middle of the decade’, saying the threat from Russia means ‘certain vulnerabilities’ must be addressed.  

Mr Johnson will today demand that countries ‘dig deep’ to meet the threat posed by Vladimir Putin, warning of a dangerous decade ahead.

He will call for the alliance to look at raising its target of spending 2 per cent of national income on defence.

Mr Wallace said no government delivered ‘100 per cent’ of what it promised in manifesto.

He said the election programme spelled out ‘what we are going to try to deliver’, adding it ‘would have been different’ if ministers had known Covid was coming. 

Mr Wallace said that while he had enough funding for the ‘here and now’, extra investment was needed in the next Government spending round from the middle of the decade.

‘We were prepared to take certain vulnerabilities on board in the middle of the decade as we got rid of some equipment and re-equipped anew. I think the invasion of Russia into Ukraine has changed that,’ he told Sky News.

‘That is why I think discussions are so important for the middle-of-decade funding. In the here and now we are rightly set. The question is what happens in the middle of the decade.

‘My settlement was done before Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia is very, very dangerous on the world stage. The world is less secure than it was two, three years ago and is not looking likely to change for the rest of the decade.

‘That is the moment, in the middle of the decade, to say we should commit to increased funding.’

Mr Johnson appears to be on a collision course with Mr Wallace and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who both want a substantial increase in spending in response to the war in Ukraine.

In an extraordinary intervention yesterday, Mr Wallace warned there was a ‘real risk’ Russia could ‘lash out’ against the UK and its European allies.

The Defence Secretary said the British military had for too long had to survive on ‘a diet of smoke and mirrors, hollowed-out formations and fantasy savings’.

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said: ‘We will agree a fundamental shift to our deterrence and defence.

Tory manifesto vow on defence spending ‘will be broken’ 

Ben Wallace today admitted the Tories will break a manifesto pledge on defence spending and called for ‘increased investment’ as Boris Johnson kicks off a NATO summit urging allies to boost funding.

The Defence Secretary acknowledged that the government will not manage to raise budgets by 0.5 percentage points more than inflation, as it soars towards 11 per cent.

But he fuelled a growing Cabinet row by demanding a surge in military spending from the ‘middle of the decade’, saying the threat from Russia means ‘certain vulnerabilities’ must be addressed.  

At the NATO gathering in Madrid today, the PM will demand that countries ‘dig deep’ to meet the threat posed by Vladimir Putin, warning of a dangerous decade ahead.

He will call for the alliance to look at raising its target of spending 2 per cent of national income on defence.

‘With more forward deployed combat formations. With more high-readiness forces. And also with more pre-positioned equipment.

‘This is the biggest overhaul our collective defence since the end of the Cold War that will be agreed at this summit.’

The alliance’s new strategic concept replaces one drawn up in 2010, when relations with the Kremlin were warmer and Russia was a ‘strategic partner’.

The Nato chief said: ‘I expect that, when leaders agree the strategic concept today, they will state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to our security.’

He said the allies will also agree that China ‘is a challenge to our values, to our interests and to our security’.

‘China is not an adversary but, of course, we need to take into account the consequences to our security when we see China investing heavily in new modern military capabilities, long range missiles, nuclear weapons, and also trying to control critical infrastructure, for instance, 5G networks in our own countries,’ he said.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss used an appearance at the summit event to warn that ‘with China extending its influence through economic coercion and building a capable military there is a real risk that they draw the wrong idea which results in a catastrophic miscalculation such as invading Taiwan’.

She said: ‘That is exactly what we saw in the case of Ukraine, a strategic miscalculation by Putin, so this is why it’s so important that the free world work together to help ensure that Taiwan is able to defend itself and to stress the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.’

The NATO summit kicked off with Turkey dropping its opposition to Finland and Sweden joining, meaning they will almost certainly be accepted

The NATO summit kicked off with Turkey dropping its opposition to Finland and Sweden joining, meaning they will almost certainly be accepted 



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