BORIS Johnson has told Russian citizens that he is not surprised Vladimir Putin is trying to conceal the atrocities in Ukraine as they would not support the war if they knew the truth. 

In a video address this evening, the Prime Minister spoke in Russian and said they "deserve the facts", as growing evidence of civilian killings, rape and torture has emerged in previously Russian-occupied areas outside Kyiv.

He also encouraged Russians to use a VPN - an internet connection which disguises users' locations - to circumvent the Kremlin's online restrictions in the country, and find out what was really happening in Ukraine. 

Speaking in Russian, the Prime Minister said: "The Russian people deserve the truth, you deserve the facts."

Switching to English, Mr Johnson continued: "The atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpin and elsewhere in Ukraine have horrified the world. 

“Civilians massacred – shot dead with their hands tied.  

“Women raped in front of their young children.

“Bodies crudely burned, dumped in mass graves, or just left lying in the street. 

“The reports are so shocking, so sickening, it’s no wonder your government is seeking to hide them from you.

“Your president knows that if you could see what was happening, you would not support his war. "

He added that the reports emerging from Ukraine were "so shocking, so sickening, it’s no wonder your government is seeking to hide them from you".

Mr Johnson also said that Putin knew if his people could see what had happened, he would know they "would not support his war".

"He knows that these crimes betray the trust of every Russian mother who proudly waves goodbye to her son as he heads off to join the military," he said. 

"And he knows they are a stain on the honour of Russia itself. 

“A stain that will only grow larger and more indelible every day this war continues.   

“But don’t just take my word for it.  

“All you need is VPN connection to access independent information from anywhere in the world.  
“And when you find the truth, share it."

Mr Johnson vowed that "those responsible will be held to account" and finishing his address, he said in Russian "Your president stands accused of committing war crimes.

“But I cannot believe he’s acting in your name.”