'Russia's Nigella Lawson' may be first one jailed under new Putin law

‘Russia’s Nigella Lawson’ could be first person jailed under Putin’s new censorship laws banning criticism of the Ukraine war after accusing Vladimir of ‘turning boys into mincemeat’

  • Celebrity cookbook author Veronika Belotserkovskaya, 51,  has slammed the war
  • She has 902k Instagram followers and changed profile pic to a peace symbol
  • Belotserkovskaya posted Putin has used boys as ‘mincemeat’ in Ukraine war
  • Under new censorship laws she could face up to 15 years in prison

Russia’s Nigella Lawson could become the first person jailed under draconian new censorship laws banning criticism of the war in Ukraine.

Veronika Belotserkovskaya, 51, affectionately known as Belonika or Nika, slammed the bid to prosecute her just for being a ‘decent person’.

The brave bestselling cookbook chef has accused Vladimir Putin of turning ‘boys aged 18-to-20 … into the mincemeat of [his] imperial ambitions’.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, but a self-described ‘proud Russian’, Belotserkovskaya has posted a series of fiery anti-war statements in a country where the word ‘war’ itself is banned.

In Russia, the invasion of Ukraine must be described as a ‘special military operation’.  

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, Russia’s Nigella has conducted ‘public dissemination based on political hatred or enmity under the guise of reliable reports of knowingly false information about the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’.

Bestselling author and Instagram celebrity Belotserkovskaya has slammed Putin’s use of conscripts as ‘mincemeat of his imperial ambitions’

Chef ‘Belonika’ has also accused Putin of hiding away in his ‘warm bunker, close to hell’

She is being investigated alongside two unnamed people from Siberia. 

The committee added that she posted ‘deliberately false information about the use of the [army] to destroy cities and the civilian population of Ukraine, including children, in the course of the special military operation.’ 

And as such, ‘she discredited the state authorities and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’.

Putin’s new law could see her jailed for up to 15 years.

But Belotserkovskaya has stayed strong and declared: ‘I have been officially declared a decent person.’

Among popular posts to almost one million Instagram followers, she has accused Putin of waging ‘an aggressive WAR against a sovereign state’.

She wrote: ‘I do not consider the Ukrainian People my enemy. I consider them brothers and sisters.

‘I am absolutely horrified by how many mothers from both sides will not wait for their boys to come home.

Belotserkovskaya poses with a horse in one of many hugely popular Instagram posts, which have turned decidedly political since the invasion of Ukraine began three weeks ago today

‘Boys aged 18-to-20 led into the mincemeat of [his] imperial ambitions.’

In further searing posts Belotserkovskaya said: ‘I am totally shocked by the economic consequences that we will all have to deal with for many, many years to come.

‘I’m afraid for my children.

‘I want them to live in a world without this monstrous hatred, which every day this, unnecessary f***ing war breeds. Which NO ONE wanted!

‘Because only insane nonhumans can want war.

‘Hatred not only of Ukrainians, but of the whole world. We all turn into outcasts.

‘I’m not ashamed to be RUSSIAN. I am ashamed now, as a person of the world who cannot change and fix anything. Ashamed of my helplessness.’

She denounced the use of money on militarising Russia, which could have been spent on making life better for ordinary people.

Belotserkovskaya denounced the ‘patriots’ and ‘propagandists’ backing the war, which she fears could go nuclear.

‘Most of all, to be honest, I am afraid of the RED BUTTON,’ she posted.

‘The ‘Special operation’, which for all of us, for all mankind, can become the final one.

‘Even in my Soviet pioneer childhood, at the height of the Cold War, I was not so afraid.’

As the invasion began, the mum-of-three wrote: ‘I type and erase and sob and sob and sob.

‘I read the news and again I sob and my hands are shaking and shaking.

‘I don’t know what I can do.

‘I don’t know how to change anything. I have never felt such terrible helplessness. Painfully. Scary.

‘I want to fall asleep and wake up again and realise that it was just a monstrous dream.’

It marked ‘the beginning of a great grief for our peoples.

‘Odessa is my favourite city on earth. 

‘My dear Ukrainian brothers and sisters, I embrace you with all my heart.

‘Strength and courage to you.’

It is believed her posts were written from outside Russia, where Instagram has been blocked as part of a Kremlin crackdown on ‘extremist’ social media sites.

Belotserkovskaya owns a villa in France, where she is opening a cookery school, and believes that she will be arrested if she were to return.

‘I will not stay silent because I can speak and because I will never forgive myself [if I don’t]. I am not a rat,’ she said.

She told of a case highlighted by a Russian senator where only four out of 100 Russian ‘conscripts’ remained alive.

’96 will never return home. Never. And even their corpses are unlikely to be delivered.’

Meanwhile, the case against her is proceeding in absentia and Russia may seek her extradition, said the committee.

She admits that ‘most likely [I] never be able to go home again.

‘For the first time in my life, I have encountered absolute and unadulterated evil.

‘This FEAR overlaps all my previous scares.’

She described Putin, 69, as a ‘tired of life man, bored with the absolute power that saw his obedient people carried in his beak for 22 years’.

She said: ‘I tried to understand what was in his head.

‘With a very simple goal – can he really press the ‘turn off humanity’ button?

‘I have watched a lot of interviews with him. The most recent ones are creepy.’

He ‘is not afraid of anything. He feels good and warm in his bunker, so close to hell.

‘And he, indeed, with his hatred of freedom and obsession with imperial ideas, believes that Ukraine is not a state, but just a rough stretch of road on the way to eternity.

‘And it can be erased with one of his imperial breaths.

‘He, however, does not understand that it is impossible to destroy Ukraine.


‘I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths: ‘Zelensky’ full, gut-wrenching speech to Congress and Biden pleading for help

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a nearly 20-minute speech to Congress on Wednesday, speaking via video conference from Kyiv.

Here are his full remarks: 

[Zelensky speaking through translator]

Thank you very much. Madam speaker, members of the Congress, ladies and gentlemen, Americans, friends, I’m proud to greet you from Ukraine, from our capital city of Kyiv, a city that is under missile and air strikes from Russian troops every day. But it doesn’t give up, and we have not even thought about it for a second. Just like many other cities and communities in our beautiful country which found them shelves in the worst war since World War II. I have the honor to greet you on behalf of the Ukrainian people, brave and freedom-loving people, who for eight years have been resisting the Russian aggression. Those who give their best sons and daughters to stop this full-scale Russian invasion.

Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided — the destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy. Russia has attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities, it went on a brutal offensive against our values — basic human values. It threw tanks and planes against our freedom, against our right to live freely in our own country, choosing our own future.

Against our desire for happiness, against our national dreams, just like the same dreams you have, you Americans. Just like anyone else in the United States. I remember your national memorial in Rushmore, the faces of your prominent presidents, those who laid the foundation of the United States of America as it is today: democracy, independence, freedom and care for everyone, for every person, for everyone who works diligently, who lives honestly, who respects the law.


We in Ukraine want the same for our people. All that is normal part of your own life. Ladies and gentlemen, friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now when you need it right now. When we need you right now.

Remember Pearl Harbor. Terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it. Remember September 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, in battlefields. When innocent people were attacked from air, yes. Just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it.

Our country experienced the same every day. Right now, at this moment, every night, for three weeks now, there are various Ukrainian cities Odesa [names long list of Ukrainian cities], Russia has turned the Ukranian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs, they use drones to kill us with precision. This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years, and we are asking for our life for an answer to this terror from the whole world. Is this a lot to ask for? To create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people? Is this too much to ask? Humanitarian no-fly zone, something that Russia would not be able to terrorize our free cities.

If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative. You know what kind of defense systems we need: S-300 and other similar systems. You know how much depends on the battlefield, on the ability to use aircraft, powerful, strong aviation to protect our people, our freedom, our land. Aircrafts that can help Ukraine help Europe and you know that they exist, and you have them, but they are on Earth, not in the Ukrainian sky. They do not defend our people. ‘I have a dream’ — these words are known to each of you. Today I can say, ‘I have a need.’ I need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help, which means exactly the same, the same you feel when you hear the words ‘I have a dream.’

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, Ukraine is grateful to the United States for its overwhelming support, for everything that your government and your people have done for us for weapons and ammunition, for training, for finances, for leadership in the free world which helps us to pressure the aggressor economically. I’m grateful to President Biden for his personal involvement for his sincere commitment to the defense of Ukraine and democracy all over the world. I am grateful to you for the resolution which recognizes all those who commit crimes against Ukraine, against the Ukrainian people as war criminals. However, now, it is true in the darkest time for our country, for the whole Europe, I call on you to do more. New packages of sanctions are needed, constantly, every week until the Russian military machine stops.

Restrictions are needed for everyone on whom this unjust regime is based. We propose that the United States sanctions all politicians in the Russian Federation who remain in their offices and do not cut ties with those who are responsible for the aggression against Ukraine, from state Duma members to the last official who has lack of moral to break this state terror. All American companies must leave Russia from their market, leave their market immediately because it is flooded with our blood. Ladies and gentlemen, members of Congress, please take the lead if you have companies in your district who finance the Russian military machine leaving business in Russia, you should put pressure. I’m asking to make sure that the Russians do not receive a single penny that they use to destroy people in Ukraine. The destruction of our country, the destruction of Europe all American ports should be close for Russian goods. We’re — peace is more important than income, and we have to defend this principle in the whole world.

We already became part of the anti-war coalition, a big anti-war coalition that unites many countries, dozens of countries, those who reacted in principle to President Putin’s decision to invade our country, but we need to move on and do more. We need to create new tools to respond quickly and stop the war, the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24th. And it would be fair if it ended in a day, that in 24 hours, that evil would be punished immediately. Today, the world does not have such tools. The war of the past have prompted our predecessors to create institutions that should protect us from war, but they unfortunately don’t work. We see it, you see it, so we need new ones, new institutions, new alliances and we offer them. We propose to create an association, ‘U24,’ ‘united for peace,’ a union of responsible countries that have the strength and consciousness to stop conflicts immediately, provide all the necessary assistance in 24 hours, if necessary, even weapons, if necessary, sanctions, humanitarian support, political support, finances, everything you need to keep the peace and quickly save the world, to save lives.

In addition, such association, such union would provide assistance to those who are experiencing natural disasters, man-made disasters who fell victims to humanitarian crisis and epidemic. Remember how difficult it was for the world to do the simplest things, just to keep vaccines, vaccines against Covid to save lives, to prevent new strains? The world spent months, years doing things like that much faster to make sure there are no human losses, no victims.

Ladies and gentlemen, Americans, if such alliance would exist today, that is U24, we would be able to save thousands of lives in our country, in many countries of the world those who need peace, those who suffer inhumane destruction. I ask you to watch one video, video of what the Russian troops did in our country, in our land. We have to stop it. We must prevent it, preventably destroy every single aggressor who seeks to subjugate other nations.


[No longer speaking through translator, Zelensky speaking in English]

And in the end, to sum it up, today, today it’s not enough to be the leader of the nation. Today, it takes to be the leader of the world, being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. Peace in your country doesn’t depend anymore only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you, on those who are strong. Strong doesn’t mean big. Strong is brave and ready to fight for the lives of his citizens and citizens of the world. For human rights, for freedom, for the right to live decently and to die when your time comes, and not when it’s wanted by someone else, by your neighbor. Today, the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine, we are fighting for the values of Europe and the world [inaudible] in the name of the future. That’s why today, the American people are helping not just Ukraine but Europe and the world to keep the planet alive, to keep justice in history. Now, I’m almost 45 years old. Today, my age stopped when the heart of more than 100 children stopped beating. I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths.

And this is my main issue as the leader of my people, great Ukrainians and as the leader of my nation, I’m addressing the President Biden. You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. Thank you.

[In Ukranian] Glory to Ukraine.

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