A vomit-inducing weapon for a vomit-inducing president – leader comment

It’s tempting to make bad jokes about the arrival off the coast of Scotland of a Russian warship fitted with a weapon designed to make people vomit.

Opposition leaders in Russia accuse Vladimir Putin of acting as a modern-day czar (Picture: Pavel Golovkin/AFP/Getty Images)

Too tempting. “I didn’t know Russia was a ‘puklear power’!” “There’s nothing worse than the sight of Vladimir Pukin.” “If they fire it at 3am on a Saturday night in [insert name of town here], how will they know it worked?”

Okay, these jokes aren’t that funny, but then neither is the current regime in Russia. Just ask the citizens of Ukraine or the people of Salisbury.

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Russian ship with 'vomit weapon' spotted off Scottish coast

As SNP defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald quite rightly said, the sightings of this vessel “underline why years of treating Russian threats as a joke are over”.

While Crimea was being annexed by Russia, Moscow was denying the heavily armed “little green men” patrolling the streets were anything to do with them, a tactic that spawned a new phrase to describe it – “implausible deniability”.

This was also used in the aftermath of the Salisbury poisonings, along with attempts at humour laced with menace.

So try to make up better jokes if you really must – but don’t laugh.