Russian hoaxers told the UK is running short on anti-tank weapons

Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Battalion Combat Team fire a live Javelin medium anti-tank missile during training at the Joint Multinational Training Center. The Soldiers from 173rd Airborne Battalion Combat Team are training together for the first time since their transformation into a BCT and in preparation for deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Gary l. Kieffer) (Released)

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – According to the newest video produced by the pair, the defence secretary appeared to inform Russian impostors pretending as the Ukrainian PM that the UK is running short of anti-tank weapons to deploy to Ukraine.

The hoax, in which an impostor was put through for a video conference with Ben Wallace regarding the situation in Ukraine, was believed to be perpetrated by Russian state actors, according to Downing Street.

Officials said they expected further details from the call to be revealed in the coming days, and that they expected it to be timed to cause the British government the most embarrassment possible, especially at the Nato summit this week.

Wallace had taken the call from Alexey Stolarov and Vladimir Kuznestov known as Lexus and Vovan, thinking it was the Ukrainian PM but he got suspicious halfway through the talk. Although they have denied it, the pair is suspected of having ties to Russia’s intelligence agencies.

The hoax callers also reached Priti Patel, the home secretary, and made attempts to get to  Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, who notified the Foreign Office before the call was taken.

Cabinet ministers and top officials have been told to remain vigilant in the coming days and weeks for more attempts to disgrace them.

Western authorities believe Russia is planning to employ embarrassing techniques, such as the hoax call to Wallace, to divide the attitude of western allies to the invasion of Ukraine. They believe the deception was more of a disruption plan than an intelligence gathering technique.

Wallace appears perplexed in a YouTube video in which the hoaxer claims that the NLAWs (next generation light anti-tank weapons) that the UK has sold to Ukraine have failed. Wallace said he spoke with Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, on a regular basis.

“I don’t think ours have failed. I’ve got the details of ours. We’ve given you over 4,000. We’ve got more coming,” he said. “We’re running out of our own. I speak to Reznikov and text him every day.”

Wallace appears to be questioned if he would back Ukraine’s nuclear ambitions in a previous clip aired on Monday; Russia has erroneously claimed Kyiv has nuclear ambitions.

“It’s a doctored clip,” a defence insider stated. What you don’t hear is the defence secretary declaring that the UK can’t help Ukraine with its purported nuclear ambitions because the UK is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, they said. The source, on the other hand, did not contradict the substance of what Wallace appeared to say.

Officials in the United Kingdom see this week as a critical time for Western unity in the face of Russia’s intensifying attacks on civilians.

According to UK sources, the PM will remind partners at the Nato summit that there is an urgent need to help the Ukrainians now, and that Russia’s methods of indiscriminately firing on civilian targets is inherently escalatory.

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.