Vladimir Putin is the world's biggest and most dangerous liar. Boris Johnson doesn't even come close – Scotsman comment

Given Boris Johnson was called “the best liar we’ve ever had as Prime Minister” by former Conservative Cabinet minister Rory Stewart, was forced to resign over untrue statements he made about the Chris Pincher scandal, and is facing a parliamentary investigation over whether he lied to MPs, he’s perhaps not the most credible of witnesses.

So the Kremlin may think it is onto a winner in claiming that Boris Johnson is lying when he says Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile strike during a telephone call ahead of the invasion of Ukraine, although a Russian spokesperson added that there could also have been a misunderstanding.

However, no one should be fooled about who is the bigger liar. Two academics writing for the US-based Rand Corporation described Russian propaganda as a “firehose of falsehood” with two main features: “high numbers of channels and messages, and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions”.

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In democracies, politicians attempting a cover-up talk about the need for “plausible deniability”; in Putin’s Russia, this has become “implausible deniability”. They deny something that everyone knows is true, but they simply don’t care. It’s so common, there’s even a word in Russian for it: “vranyo”.

If you believe Putin, the Ukraine War is not a war, it’s a “special military operation”. If you believe Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, who recently came first in the Jerusalem Post’s annual ranking of the world’s most influential Jews, is a Nazi. If you believe Putin, the Russian agents who carried out the Salisbury poisonings were innocent tourists.

Putin is the world’s most prolific and dangerous liar, and his words should be treated with contempt.



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