Crowd erupts in laughter at Russia’s top diplomat after he claimed the Ukraine war ‘was launched against us’

  • A crowd laughed at Russia’s top diplomat when he said the Ukraine war “was launched against us.”

  • An audience member at India’s G20 summit shouted, “Come on!” at Sergey Lavrov during the event.

  • He was answering a question about Russia’s energy strategy moving forward.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Thursday at a conference in India that the war in Ukraine “was launched against us,” prompting the crowd to erupt into laughter.

Lavrov was a speaker at India’s G20 Summit in New Delhi, leading a session that was part of a “Raisina Dialogue 2023” series. He was in discussion with Sunjoy Joshi, the chair of the Observer Research Foundation in India, and took questions from the audience.

One audience member asked Lavrov: “How the war has affected Russia’s strategy on energy, and will it mark a privilege toward Asia? And if it does, how is India going to feature in it?”

“You know, the war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us, using the…” Lavrov began, before being cut off by loud laughter from the crowd.

“…The Ukrainian people, uh, of course, influenced…” Lavrov tried again, before being cut off by more laughter and a shout of, “Come on!” from the crowd.

He went on to say that the war has influenced the energy policy in Russia and that they “would not rely on any partners” going forward.

Contrary to Lavrov’s claim, Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and sparked the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II.

The Kremlin has offered an array of justifications for the invasion, including the assertion that Ukraine is led by neo-Nazis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and lost family during the Holocaust.

Russia has also blamed NATO, suggesting that the alliance’s expansion provoked the conflict. But Ukraine is not a NATO member and was not on track to join the alliance when Russia invaded.

Experts widely agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine out of a desire to restore Russia as an imperial power. Putin, who once described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, has likened himself to Peter the Great while defending Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

The Russian leader has falsely claimed that Ukraine is not a real country, offering a distorted view of history to vindicate Russia’s brutal campaign to subjugate its next-door neighbor.

The Russian Empire controlled much of Ukraine before later making it part of the Soviet Union. But Ukrainians in 1991 overwhelmingly voted for independence from the USSR, making it clear that they did not want to be subservient to Moscow.

Russia has been condemned around the world for invading Ukraine, and faces widespread allegations of war crimes.

Read the original article on Business Insider