Gordon Brown reveals Vladimir Putin threatened him during an official visit to Moscow in 2006, made him sit on a very low seat and read a dossier of information he had collected on the then Chancellor – as he says the West has failed to stand up to the Russian leader
- Ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Putin threatened him in Moscow in 2006
- Putin read information to prove he knew more about Brown than he knew himself
- Mr Brown believes Putin only responds to ‘uncompromising show of strength’
Gordon Brown has revealed that Vladimir Putin threatened him during an official visit to Moscow and says the West ‘failed’ to stand up to the Russian President for years before his invasion of Ukraine.
‘I was under no illusions about what Putin was like,’ the former Prime Minister said in an interview this weekend.
Recalling a 2006 visit to the Kremlin while Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Brown said: ‘I was put in a very low seat so that I was looking up at him. He’s certainly a relatively small man, and he wears these stacked heels.
Gordon Brown claims the West ‘failed’ to stand up to Vladimir Putin for years as he reveals Russian President threatened him during official visit to Moscow while he was Chancellor. Pictured: Brown (left) and Putin (right) during a meeting at the Kremlin on 11 February 2006
‘Anyway, that day he took out these index cards, and proceeded to read out all this information he had about me, as though he wanted to prove that he knew more about me than I knew about myself. So when people say that Putin’s changed and is only now threatening, I can tell you that he was threatening me even then.’
Mr Brown believes Putin only responds to ‘an uncompromising and unyielding show of strength,’ adding: ‘The only thing Putin understands is strength. Weakness he will exploit; he’s opportunistic to the nth degree.’
And he warned that the West’s inaction over Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, which took place while David Cameron was Prime Minister, ‘allowed Putin to think he might get away with further incursions’.
The comments came as Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky yesterday visited troops in a bunker on the frontline of the southern Mykolaiv region.
Despite Russian advances in eastern Ukraine, Mr Zelensky said: ‘Our brave men. Each one of them is working flat out. We will definitely hold out! We will definitely win.’
Western-supplied heavy weapons are reaching front lines, although not in quantities that Ukrainian officials say are needed to push back Russian forces.
Brown believes Putin only responds to ‘an uncompromising and unyielding show of strength
Last night, there were fears of another Russian push to seize the key city of Sievierodonetsk. Serhiy Gaidai, the regional governor in Luhansk, claimed Russian reservists were being redirected to the area.
Meanwhile, as he returned to the UK from a visit to Kyiv, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘The Russians are grinding forward inch by inch and it is vital for us to show what we know to be true, which is that Ukraine can win and will win.’
He added: ‘When Ukraine fatigue is setting in, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and we are giving them the strategic resilience that they need.’