Vladimir Putin is “evil”, Boris Johnson said as UK ministers stepped up their personal attacks on the Russian president.
“I think that what he has done is evil,” the Prime Minister told GB News at the NATO Summit in Madrid.
Asked if Putin himself is evil after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, Mr Johnson said: “I think it probably follows that if you are what you do, then certainly.
“It’s been an appalling act of unwarranted aggression against the innocent population.”
Condemning the recent attack on an shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, the Prime Minister said: “This is an act of absolutely unprovoked aggression.”
His comments come after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Putin had “small man syndrome” and was a “lunatic”.
Mr Johnson had earlier suggested the Russian leader’s invasion of Ukraine was an example of “toxic masculinity” and a female president would not have made the same mistake.
Speaking after the G7 summit in Bavaria, Mr Johnson said: “If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”
Downing Street has said there was “not a deliberate policy” to publicly belittle Putin.
Darren probed Mr Johnson on the Conservatives’ plans to axe 9,000 soldiers and a third of the Army’s main battle tanks, despite mounting aggression from Moscow, asking whether the decision was perverse.
Mr Johnson told GB News: “We’re investing massively in our defences. What I want to see is the army, navy air force that is strong, sufficiently numerous but also has the kit, the training that they need.”
The Government confirmed plans to cut the number of the country’s tanks a year ago – nine months before Kremlin troops invaded Ukraine in February.
An £800million deal was agreed to supply the Army with 148 upgraded Challenger 3 tanks.
But the overall number of tanks will be cut from 227.
The Head of the British Army has said Britain is facing its “1937 moment” and must be ready to “fight and win” to ward off the threat from Russia.
In his first public speech as the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders warned that the UK must be prepared to “act rapidly” to contain Russian expansionism.
Sir Patrick’s comparison of Russia’s invasion to the rise of Nazi Germany came as a missile struck a crowded shopping centre in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing at least 16 civilians.
On Monday evening, NATO pledged to increase forces available on high alert to more than 300,000 troops.