TV personality Jeremy Vine has sparked a huge backlash after claiming that Russian soldiers “probably deserve to die”.
During Monday’s edition of his Channel 5 talk show, Jeremy led a discussion about the escalating situation in Ukraine, following Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion last week.
As part of the conversation, the presenter spoke to a viewer who had called in, asking him: “What’s your problem with fighting Russians if they’ve invaded Ukraine?”
The caller then stated his view that “the people of Russia are not our enemies”, explaining: “Quite a number of those Russians you’ll probably find will go across… [some] were holding their hands up this morning not wanting to fight Ukrainians. They were told lies by Putin, surprise surprise.”
Jeremy responded: “True. But the brutal reality is, if you put on a uniform for Putin and you go and fight his war, you probably deserve to die, don’t you?”
Clearly shocked by the host’s comments, the viewer responded: “Do you? Do kids deserve to die? 18 and 20 years old? Who are called up and conscripted? Who don’t understand it? Who don’t grasp the issues?”
“That’s life,” Jeremy then offered. “That’s the way it goes.”
“If we practice the brutality of war you never learn from that,” the caller concluded.
After the segment aired, clips of it began being circulated on Twitter, with many calling out Jeremy’s comments and reiterating the point that conscription is still in place in Russia:
Representatives for both Jeremy Vine and Channel 5 had no comment when contacted by HuffPost UK.
Jeremy Vine airs every weekday on Channel 5 from 9.15am.