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Downing Street Backs Defence Secretary's Comparison Of Putin’s Russia To Nazi Regime

Downing Street Backs Defence Secretary's Comparison Of Putin’s Russia To Nazi Regime

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gave a speech this morning saying said Vladimir Putin is "mirroring fascism” with the invasion of Ukraine (Alamy)

2 min read

Downing Street has backed defence secretary Ben Wallace after he said Vladimir Putin is "mirroring fascism” and compared Russia’s attack on Ukraine to the Nazis.

In a speech at the National Army Museum in London on Monday, Wallace said the Kremlin is “repeating the errors of the last century's totalitarian regimes” and that its actions “corrupt the memory of past sacrifices and Russia's once proud global reputation”.

He made the speech after Putin addressed a military parade in Moscow on Monday, marking the Second World War victory over Adolf Hitler.

But Wallace believed that through the invasion of Ukraine and attacks on civilians, Russia is “showing the same disregard for human life, national sovereignty and the rules-based international system” the Nazis did.

"Their unprovoked, illegal, senseless and self-defeating invasion of Ukraine, their attacks against innocent civilians on their homes, their widespread atrocities, including the deliberate targeting of women and children, they all corrupt the memory of past sacrifices and Russia's once proud global reputation,” he said.

"The response to this failure by the Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine has in itself been a disgraceful display of self-preservation, doubling down on failure, anger, dishonesty and scapegoating.”

Putin himself has alleged the invasion of Ukraine was to embark on a process of what he considered to be a “de-Nazification” of the country.

Downing Street defended Wallace's comparisons to World War Two when challenged on whether this was helpful. 

“I think it's valid given the date,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said, referencing the anniversary of the defeat of Hitler.

They criticised the “rhetoric being wrongly used by Putin today”, and added that Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky “made this point in a powerful video released over the weekend, that we need to push back against this this false narrative of de-Nazification, which is simply disinformation designed to justify an illegal war”.

Downing Street also said the UK will continue to support Ukraine in its effort to push back against Russian aggression, noting "we are certainly in this for the long haul".

“We will not back away from our support for them,” the PM's spokesperson said.

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