Russian state TV mocks Liz Truss for riding in a tank and warning Putin over Ukraine

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Russian state TV has mocked UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for riding in a tank and warning President Vladimir Putin that it would be a ‘strategic mistake’ to invade Ukraine. 

TV presenters labelled Truss as the ‘new Iron Lady’ in reference to former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and said she has a ‘touch of bipolar about her’. 

The intended insult comes amid high tension between the West and Russia, with Ukraine calling for a NATO ‘deterrence package’ to stop the Kremlin invasion, and Truss warning Russia over its actions.  

Moscow reacted to the Foreign Secretary’s ‘provocative’ images atop a British Army Challenger 2 tank close to the Russian border in Estonia by airing the footage backed with clown music, and labelled her as the ‘new Iron Lady in British politics’.   

Mrs Thatcher – whom Ms Truss has frequently cited as an inspiration – was photographed in a British tank in West Germany on a visit to UK troops in 1986.

Margaret Thatcher British Prime Minister stands in a British tank during a visit to British forces in Fallingbostel

Moscow reacted to the Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss’s (left) ‘provocative’ images atop a British Army Challenger 2 tank close to the Russian border in Estonia by airing the footage backed with clown music, and labelled her as the ‘new Iron Lady in British politics’. Mrs Thatcher – whom Ms Truss has frequently cited as an inspiration – was photographed in a British tank in West Germany on a visit to UK troops in 1986  (right)

Moscow reacted to the Foreign Secretary’s ‘provocative’ images atop a British Army Challenger 2 tank close to the Russian border in Estonia by airing the footage backed with clown music, and labelled her as the ‘new Iron Lady in British politics’

The broadcast used a video showing Ms Truss riding the tank but overlaid it with the song Entry of the Gladiators by the Czech composer Julius Fucik, a melody associated with circuses to introduce the clowns.     

Footage from state-controlled Channel 1 shows presenter Anatoly Kuzichev telling his viewers : ‘There is a new Iron Lady in British politics.

‘UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss had a ride on a tank in Estonia.

‘During joint drills in the Baltics, Truss claimed she wants a world where democracies proper – not just survive.

‘Apparently a tank ride, even (in Estonia), promotes prosperity.’

Kuzichev suggested the images of Truss on a tank were an upgrade on UK Prime Minister Johnson at the Peppa Pig ‘fun fair’.

Footage from state-controlled Channel 1 shows presenter Anatoly Kuzichev telling his viewers : 'There is a new Iron Lady in British politics'

Footage from state-controlled Channel 1 shows presenter Anatoly Kuzichev telling his viewers : ‘There is a new Iron Lady in British politics’

Russia now has 50 battalions comprising up to 94,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border with another 80,000 - 100,000 sitting in reserve and will be ready to invade within weeks, the US has warned

Russia now has 50 battalions comprising up to 94,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border with another 80,000 – 100,000 sitting in reserve and will be ready to invade within weeks, the US has warned

Another presenter on the show, Artyom Sheynin, accused Truss of having a ‘touch of bipolar about her’. 

He said: ‘Things got a bit too much for the British foreign secretary, who said ‘leave me alone’, jumped into a tank and started driving towards the Russian border.

‘Of course, she was stopped by the Estonians, barely after 150 metres (500ft). You know, who knows what she might have done?’

His rant went on: ‘I can understand that her nerves are giving way.

‘She probably doesn’t know herself what’s going on. First, there’s war, then there isn’t, first [the Russians] are massing forces, then they’re not. Nothing is clear.

‘And this is the same girl who was concerned about stability on the European continent. Well, maybe she has a touch of bipolar about her.’

Official Kremlin daily newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta also mocked the Foreign Secretary’s tank ride.

‘The Englishwoman was unable to come up with anything better than to ride around in the Baltics – in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s border – in a British Challenger 2 tank and make new threats against Moscow,’ it stated.

‘Demonstratively rattling with the tracks of a 64 tonne combat vehicle, in Estonia Truss met the UK troops deployed as part of Nato’s collective defence there.

A tank taking part in NATO exercises in Adazi, Lativa, on Monday

A tank taking part in NATO exercises in Adazi, Lativa, on Monday

The Moscow reaction comes after Truss had warned Putin over Ukraine: ‘We have seen this playbook from the Kremlin before when Russia falsely claimed its illegal annexation of Crimea was a response to Nato aggression.

‘Nato is an alliance forged on the principle of defence, not provocation. Any suggestion that Nato is provoking the Russians is clearly false.

‘Any action by Russia to undermine the freedom and democracy that our partners enjoy would be a strategic mistake.’

It comes as satellite images have revealed huge new camps of Russian troops, tanks and artillery near the Ukrainian border as Putin continues massing his forces on Europe’s doorstep amid warnings he could invade within weeks. 

Newly-published images document at least three camps housing seven battalions of troops near at Yelnya and Pogonovo, between 100 and 150 miles from the border, which analysts say have arrived in the last month.

More images taken from Russian-occupied Crimea shows what appears to be dozens of tanks and artillery pieces parked on a base at Novoozerne, around 80 miles from the border, which have also arrived in recent weeks.

The pictures were released off the back of a leaked US intelligence report that warned there are now 50 Russian battalions at the border with another 50 being rapidly assembled in reserve, meaning Putin will be ready to launch an invasion using up to 175,000 soldiers some time early next year. 

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