Support for Ukraine

Part of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons on 8th March 2022.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about the importance of the BBC in communicating to the Russian people. The fact is that they have been lied to for years through disinformation via state TV, and we are now seeing Putin taking even more repressive measures to stop social media. One factor of this crisis is that young people in Russia are less likely to believe the regime because they have had access to social media. Putin is now trying to cut that off. We are working with social media companies to see what we can do. We have established a cross-Government information unit to communicate with the Russian people directly in the Russian language. Moreover, one impact of sanctions—and a reason why we have targeted banks—is that they send a message to the Russian people when they are forced to queue for money, when they cannot get on the tube, or when they cannot access the normal services that they have been accessing. I welcome the actions of corporates in Britain to withdraw their services from Russia. The message must get across to the Russian people that this appalling war is being fought in their name.