Mad Vladimir Putin tried to hijack the Daily Star to trick war-ravaged Russians into thinking Brits have got it worse under Boris Johnson.
The potty president’s propagandists blasted the UK for failing to axe the Prime Minister whom they alleged was either “lying or drunk”.
And they used our front page cartoon of the PM sporting a Pinocchio nose to back up their crazy claim – apparently unaware it was a joke.
Russian telly anchor Olga Skabeyeva (corr) – dubbed “Putin’s Iron Doll” – played fast and loose with the facts in a desperate bid to convince Russians no matter how bad life gets under their despot they are better off than Brits.
Flashing our satirical splash she said: “By the length of Johnson’s nose on the front page…it is not difficult to guess that he lies on a regular basis.”
“That is, he is either lying or drunk.”
She went on to lambast the botched Tory coup to oust the PM after Partygate, telling state TV: “In London they were finally going to get rid of the alcoholic Johnson.
“Even his dissatisfied fellow party members tried to dismiss him.
“But Boris eventually received a vote of confidence and was protected from resignation for a year.
“Johnson himself wanted to stop a vote at all, arguing the situation on the Ukrainian front was dire.
“So as usual he was cynical and hypocritical.’’
She said the fact 211 Tory MPs had backed the PM with 148 against in the confidence vote went against opinion polls which showed 59% of Brits wanted him to go.
“Such is their democracy. Boris stays,” she spat.
She then blasted a Ukraine bakery which created a sweet croissant called “Boris Johnson UK” in the PM’s honour using meringue for his trademark blond locks.
“What is this sickness?’’, she ranted.
Daily Star readers slammed Skabeyeva for getting her facts wrong and failing to spot the satire.
No-one – not even Partygate prober Sue Gray – has suggested the PM is an “alcoholic”.
Her report into Downing Street’s lockdown bashes accused civil servants of getting drunk – but not Boris.
Opinion polls are snapshots and have no bearing on the make-up of Government.
And though opponents accused the PM of misleading the Commons by saying he was unaware No10 meets broke the rules he denies lying and has not been censured for it.
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Our front page was a tongue-in-cheek swipe at Boris and – while it may resonate with some Brits – we in no way intended to suggest he is actually Pinocchio.
One reader said: “The Russians have overstepped the mark here. It’s ok for us to have a go at Boris. That’s what democracy is all about. But they can keep their opinions to themselves.’’
Another said: “Boris maybe a Bozo but he’s our Bozo and he’s not some bloody dictator backing mass murder and genocide.
’’He’s clearly p**sed off the Russians which suggests he’s got something right,’’ added another.
“Maybe the Russians should start by having a go a Putin for killing children – just a thought,’’ said one more.
The PM has proved a thorn in Putin’s side since the Russian warmonger invaded Ukraine.
Boris has supplied the besieged country with weapons and taken the lead in imposing a barrage of hard-hitting sanctions which have driven the Russian economy to the brink of collapse.
Western stores have shut, McDonald’s has pulled out and IT giants have withdrawn hi-tech phones, laptops and microchips.