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Russia deeply offended by Johnson’s ‘toxic masculinity’ comment on Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine

Boris Johnson and Putin (Russian Presidential Executive Office/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia summoned Britain’s ambassador to Moscow to protest Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s remarks about President Vladimir Putin and the remarks of another British official about top Russian government figures.

Russia told Ambassador Deborah Bronnert that it “firmly” opposed the “boorish statements” of the British leadership regarding Russia, its leader, official representatives of the authorities, as well as the Russian people, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 30.

“In polite society, it is customary to apologize for remarks of this kind,” it said, scolding Britain for the “unacceptable insulting rhetoric.”

Johnson said on June 29 in comments to German broadcaster ZDF that Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine was “a perfect example of toxic masculinity.”

He said that, if Putin were a woman, “I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also provoked Russia’s ire after he accused the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman of “every week, threatening to nuke everyone or doing something or another.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was “unacceptable” for British officials “to share deliberately false information, especially on alleged threats by Russians ‘resorting to nuclear arms.'”

The Russian Embassy in London also protested the remarks in a note to the Foreign Office, the embassy said in a statement published on June 30.

“The note points out that such rhetoric is unacceptable and inappropriate both in form and content,” the statement said.

It also emphasized that the British authorities’ words were perceived in Russia “as a manifestation of profound disrespect” for the country and its diplomatic traditions.