Hold peace talks with Putin before war kills all of Ukraine’s young men, says Farage

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage's comments about Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sparked a row - Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images Europe

Peace talks should be held with Vladimir Putin to resolve the war with Ukraine before all the country’s young men are killed, Nigel Farage has said.

The Reform UK leader said he was sceptical about Ukraine winning the war – and said that Volodymyr Zelensky’s pledge to reclaim all the territory taken by Russia could mean there were “no young men left in Ukraine”.

He criticised the former prime minister Boris Johnson’s support for such an ambition, saying that it was “extraordinary” when there had already been up to a million casualties during the war.

Mr Farage’s comments came after he sparked a row by arguing the “ever-eastward expansion of Nato and the European Union” had given Putin an excuse to justify his invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Mr Johnson, who was in office when Putin invaded, accused the Reform leader of spreading “Kremlin propaganda” with his comments.

Asked what progress towards peace might look like in Ukraine, Mr Farage said: “What it looks like is not rejecting a peace deal which Johnson very clearly did, for his own reasons. How many people have died as a result of that, I don’t know.

“Johnson, on the Ukraine war, it’s as if he wants both sides to fight to the death. Given we’ve got up to a million battle casualties, I find it extraordinary.

“It may be that peace is some way away. All I’ve said is that I was totally opposed to the Iraq War, vehemently opposed to the Libyan war and I just think some attempt to broker negotiations between these two sides needs to happen. Clearly, on territory, such as Crimea, that is going to be incredibly difficult.”

Responding to questions pointing out that Mr Zelensky has always vowed to reclaim all of the territory taken by Russia, Mr Farage said: “Well, there may be no young men left in Ukraine.”

Ukraine introduced a new conscription law last month following months of troop and ammunition shortages. Under the new laws, the mobilisation of men was lowered from 27 to 25, with all those aged between 25 and 60 required to log their details on an electronic database so they can be called up.

Asked if he would be willing to cede ground, Mr Farage added: “That’s his choice. I just think some attempt, no-one is even talking about peace. All we are talking about is ‘Ukraine is going to win’. Really? I’m pretty sceptical about that.”

Mr Farage has stood by his remarks over the eastward expansion of Nato, saying Mr Johnson was a “hypocrite” after suggesting the expansion of the EU caused the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2016.

“I predicted what happened in Ukraine, and I alone predicted what happened in Ukraine. I regret to say that I was right,” he said.

“I have been utterly consistent, I’ve never changed my view, I’ve been the only British figure that had foreign policy right. These people are just not fit to govern.”