Truss say openly that we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees. Go on, then, do it!”
It was last month that the UK foreign secretary said Russia’s Vladimir Putin was humiliating himself on the world stage and that “we must ensure he faces a defeat in Ukraine”.
When asked how he viewed the UK now, Lavrov said it was “once again sacrificing the interests of its people for the sake of political ambitions”.
When BBC pointed out that in the eyes of the West, it was Russia that was responsible for the fate of two British men recently sentenced to death by Russian separatists in occupied eastern Ukraine, Lavrov responded: “I am not interested in the eyes of the West at all. I am only interested in international law. According to international law, mercenaries are not recognized as combatants.”
When he was told the men had served in the Ukrainian armed forces and were not mercenaries, and Lavrov said that should be decided by a court.
He then accused the BBC of not uncovering the truth of what had been happening to civilians in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine, “when civilians were being bombed by Kyiv’s troops for eight years”.
Over the course of six years, the BBC had many times contacted the leadership in the separatist-run areas asking for permission to go and see what was happening, but were refused entry every single time.
Russia has accused Ukraine of genocide. However, in 2021, eight civilians were killed in the rebel-held areas, according to self-proclaimed pro-Russian “officials”, and seven the year before. While every death was a tragedy, BBC said, that did not constitute a genocide.
If genocide really had taken place, the Luhansk and Donetsk separatists would have been interested in BBC going there. “Why were we not let in?” BBC asked.
“I don’t know,” said Lavrov. — BBC