'Not so much GB News as KGB News'
Arron Banks and Nigel Farage have been accused of ‘pushing Putin’s line’ as the pair sought to blame the EU for President Vladimir Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine.
They appear to ignore the fact that more than 130,000 Russian troops have been surrounding Ukraine’s borders, with Putin ordering troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, after recognising them as independent states.
On the one side is Ukraine, an independent sovereign nation that wishes to determine its own future and on the other is the aggression of Putin who in yesterday’s speech made no secret of his imperial nostalgia saying that it was “madness” that national republics were given the right to leave the Russian Empire. That speech further undermined his own claim that the conflict was about Russia’s ‘security concerns’.
Yet Banks, the millionaire backer of Brexit, claimed in what was slammed as desperate stuff that: “Russia shouldn’t invade anyone but Ukraine isn’t a single unified country, in the same way Spain has its Basque problem. The EU stoked the fire burning in Eastern Ukraine on the Russia borders by pushing for membership & Nato expansion.”
That tweet was met with much backlash, one social media user wrote: “Putin’s hand still up your arse to the elbow, Arron?”
Otto English tweeted in response: “”Russia shouldn’t invade anyone but….”
“And… Spain something something
“And blame the EU for Vladimir Putin’s actions because it’s all their fault for extending the hand of friendship
“Desperate stuff from Arron Banks”.
Banks was also derided for one of his previous tweets from 2017 in which he wrote: “Ukraine is to Russia as the Isle of Wight is to the UK. It’s Russian.”
Meanwhile over on GB News, the likes of Nigel Farage have also been blaming the EU for the current crisis. Last week Farage, during an appearance on GB News, demanded that Putin’s demand that Ukraine does not join the western military alliance NATO should be met.
He said: “The prime minister said ‘we need to learn the lessons of 2014’. Well, what happened in 2014 in the Ukraine was a revolution, albeit a pretty peaceful one, an elected leader removed from office and then of course, the Crimea taken by Vladimir Putin’s forces.
“And yes Mr Johnson, we do need to learn the lessons of 2014, because it was the European Union wanting to expand, wanting the Ukraine to join it, that directly led to that revolution. People stood there in the squares of Kyiv waving European Union flags.
“I thought for 30 years that the NATO policy, the EU policy of expanding ever eastwards was a huge strategic error.”
He added: “Yes, we know the Russians can be paranoid, but why poke the Russian bear with a stick?
“And if Vladimir Putin’s one demand is that we state clearly that the Ukraine is not going to join NATO, why don’t we do it?”
A social media user wrote in response: “Not so much GB News as KGB News”.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward