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Russia's Zakharova Nudges UK's Truss Over Remark About 'Invading Forces' Faced by Ukraine

© Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2022
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss delivered a speech at independent think tank, the Lowy Institute in Australia, elaborating on how nations such as the United Kingdom and Australia should respond to threats to freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
A speech delivered by Liz Truss on Friday in Australia seems to have impressed her opposite numbers in Russia'a Foreign Ministry, particularly spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. However, the impression itself turned out to be questionable.
During her speech, Truss happened to mention that Ukraine, "a proud country with a long history", has weathered a lot of invasions - "from the Mongols to the Tatars". The British Foreign Secretary did not specify whether she referred to Tatar-Mongol Yoke that took place in the 13th century or any other kind of invasion by these peoples.
Responding to Truss' statement, Zakharova wondered exactly how many years the foreign secretary believes passed between the two invasions - that by Tatars and another one by Mongols. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman was also curious about why Truss omitted other misfortunes weathered by the Ukrainian people.

"Did [Liz Truss] not mention the sufferings of Ukrainians from fascism because they were insignificant, or because until the Forties of the 20th century, the British crown not only supported German Nazism, but was touched by it?" Zakharova wondered in a Telegram statement.

She concluded her statement questioning "what educational institution" gave Truss her diploma.
Truss delivered her speech in Australia on Friday, pondering how the UK and Australia can respond to "threats to freedom, democracy and the rule of law." Despite her ambiguity when it came to the historical references, she accused the Kremlin of failing to learn "the lessons of history", speaking about the tense situation on the Ukrainian border.

"[The Ukrainians] suffered through the state-sponsored famine. Their resilience runs deep. If they have to, Ukrainians will fight to defend their country," Truss said, proceeding to recall Afghanistan and Chechnya. "Invasion will only lead to a quagmire, as we know from the Soviet-Afghan war or the conflict in Chechnya."

She also announced a new package of weapons offered by the UK to support Ukraine, and said that London is "pushing for alternatives in energy supply, so that nations are less reliant on Russia for their gas."
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