'Stupidity has triumphed': Russian state TV reacts to Liz Truss victory
Russian state-controlled TV has reacted to news of Liz Truss becoming Britain's new prime minister by telling viewers "stupidity has triumphed".
The foreign secretary beat her rival, former chancellor Rishi Sunak, by 81,326 votes to 60,399 – in what was the closest result since the member's vote was introduced.
Truss will travel to Balmoral in Scotland on Tuesday, where the Queen will formally ask her to become PM and form a government in her name.
Reacting to the news while broadcasting video footage of Truss's victory, the Russian TV presenter said that George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 has become a reality "where ignorance is strength".
She added: "And so, stupidity has triumphed: Liz Truss has become the new prime minister."
The presenter then went on to predict that Truss could cause "the end of the world".
She said: "If Boris Johnson achieved Brexit, Elizabeth Truss wants to achieve something entirely different – the end of the world."
"Stupidity has triumphed: Liz Truss has become the new prime minister... If Boris Johnson achieved Brexit, she wants to achieve something entirely different - the end of the world."
Russian state TV reacts to Truss' victory.pic.twitter.com/AjbSU5c6SS
— Rob O'Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) September 5, 2022
Russian television is controlled by the Kremlin, and used as a propaganda machine by the government.
In June, the 60 minutes programme on the state-controlled TV channel Russia One, claimed that the Third World War had "already started" and that Britain would "pay a heavy price" over its involvement in the war in Ukraine.
On the same programme a few weeks before, a leading research fellow at the Russian Institute of International Security Studies claimed the war in Ukraine was a "rehearsal" for a larger fight with Nato.
Watch: Who is Liz Truss, Britain's next prime minister?
In August, writing in The Daily Telegraph on Ukraine’s independence day, Truss pointed to her record as foreign secretary since Russia’s invasion.
“We are already at the vanguard of international support in providing £2.3bn in military aid, more than any other nation in Europe,” she said.
“We rallied our G7 partners in targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions ever on a major economy.”
She added that she would “go further as prime minister” by declassifying more intelligence to expose Russian misinformation while also repeating a promise to increase defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.
Monday was not the first time Truss has been mocked by Russian media. Russian president Vladimir Putin has gone as far as suggesting her belligerence has heightened the chance of nuclear war.
At the end of February, Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert after "absolutely unacceptable" statements by Truss, but the Kremlin didn't reveal what she had said to trigger this response.
Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described her as "between the dumb and the deaf".
He claimed Truss did not listen to Russia’s position and the UK was unprepared for the talks.
After the meeting Russian media mocked her as "Lady No" and said she only came to Moscow to "show off, to show how macho she is".
The Russian foreign ministry went even further with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova describing her as "bloodthirsty and extremely destructive".
In May, Russia claimed Truss was "very belligerent" and wanted to "prolong" the conflict in Ukraine.
The Russian ambassador to the UK, speaking to the BBC, said: “She’s very belligerent, your minister of foreign affairs, Liz Truss.
"She’s neither a professional military man or she’s not (been) for a long time at this position.
"But she’s very belligerent. If she would like to continue the war she will prolongate the conflict."