A video of a hoax call between Russia and the UK's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has been released – and nuclear warfare was a topic of conversation.
Tensions between the UK and Russia grew yesterday after Downing Street accused Russia of being behind hoax calls targeting two British ministers
Mr Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel were the targets of the hoax, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman, who said that they had been targeted by calls from imposters last week.
And in newly-released video, which the UK government claims is doctored, Mr Wallace is asked for his thoughts on Ukraine carrying on its "nuclear programme" to protect itself from Russia.
The clip, which an MoD source describes as "garbage", shows Mr Wallace reply: "More than being neutral, Russia would really hate that."
Asked for help, Mr Wallace appears to then say: "Mr Prime Minister, on all those bigger questions, I need to speak to my Prime Minister… The principle is we will support Ukraine as our friend in the choices you make."
When news of the call first emerged, the PM's spokesman said: "The Russian state was responsible for the hoax telephone calls made to UK ministers last week."
"This is standard practice for Russian information operations, and disinformation is a tactic straight from the Kremlin playbook – to try and distract from the illegal activities in Ukraine and the human rights abuses being committed."
Last week it was revealed by Mr Wallace that he was video-called by a fake, posing as Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and it later emerged that Ms Patel was a victim of the hoax call, too.
Mr Wallace tweeted, at the time: "No amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks can distract from Russia's human rights abuses and illegal invasion of Ukraine. A desperate attempt."
And now video footage of the attempt has been posted on YouTube by an account called Vovan222prank.
The full trailer shows Mr Wallace talking to the imposter, stating that whatever actions Russia took against Ukraine, the “UK would always support Ukraine as our friend in the choices you (Russia) make.”
The video is only 1 minute 38 seconds long, with a full interview release coming “in a few days”, says the person behind the account.
The teaser was released in both English and Russian.
However, a Ministry of Defence source told the Daily Mail that the video was “garbage”, adding: “'It's a doctored clip.
“What you don't hear is the Defence Secretary also saying that the UK can't have anything to do with alleged Ukrainian nuclear ambitions, because the UK is committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”
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