|Russian politicians celebrate Boris Johnson's resignation|
Russian politicians celebrated the ouster of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday (7/7/2022), calling the British leader a "stupid clown" who was finally getting revenge for arming Ukraine against Russia. Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, earned a resounding victory in the 2019 election before leading Britain out of the European Union. He announced he was stepping down as prime minister on Thursday after being abandoned by ministers and most of his Conservative lawmakers over a series of scandals.
Johnson's downfall was immediately celebrated by politicians in Moscow, with the Kremlin saying that the Russian government "didn't like Johnson". "He doesn't like us, nor do we like him," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said just before Johnson announced his retirement on Downing Street. Johnson announced that he was stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party but plans to remain prime minister until a successor is chosen. He also promised that Britain would continue to support Ukraine's struggle against Russia.
Johnson's resignation received a brutal reception from the Russian elite. In a post on Telegram, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska called Johnson a "stupid clown" who got an "embarrassing ending". "The clown is gone," said Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament. Volodin called Johnson one of the main ideologues of Ukraine's all-out war against Russia, and said European leaders should think about "where such a policy would lead".
Even before President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 24 invasion, Johnson had repeatedly criticized Putin, calling him a ruthless and perhaps irrational head of the Kremlin who endangered the world with his insane ambitions.
After the invasion, Johnson made Britain one of Ukraine's biggest backers in the West, delivering weapons, imposing some of the toughest sanctions in modern history against Russia and urging Ukraine to defeat Russia's massive armed forces.
He has twice traveled to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Johnson's support for Ukraine was so strong that he was known as "Borys Johnsoniuk" by some in Kiev. He sometimes ends his speeches with "Slava Ukraine" - or "glory to Ukraine". Johnson even spoke rigid Russian in February, telling Russians he did not believe the "unnecessary and bloody" war was in their name. Russia has repeatedly seen him as an unprepared clown trying to take on tasks far beyond his capabilities.