Russia's Dmitry Rogozin Delivers Nuclear Threat About Boris Johnson's Hair

Russia's space industry chief appears to have indirectly issued a strange threat to the United Kingdom and its prime minister just a day after the test of an upcoming nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.

Russia carried out a test of its in-development Sarmat missile on Wednesday, which has been interpreted as a show of strength nearly two months into its widely condemned invasion of Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Russia's Roscosmos space agency, took to Twitter on Thursday in what appeared to be a further show of force—this time directed at U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his famous tousled blond hair.

Dmitry Rogozin Boris Johnson
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin (l) and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Rogozin said "there will be no one to style your hair" if Russia fired its new superweapon Sarmat. Getty Images

In his tweet, Rogozin posted what he dubiously claimed was a comment by Johnson, translated from Russian: that the U.K. reserves the right to carry out a retaliatory nuclear strike against Russia without first consulting with other members of NATO—the international military alliance that it belongs to, along with the United States.

Rogozin wrote, translated from Russian: "Boris, if 'Sarmat' is used, none of you will 'consult with each other'.

"And there will be no-one to style your hair, Mr. Prime Minister. Yes, and there will be nothing to lay."

Newsweek has been unable to independently verify whether Johnson ever made the comment that Rogozin alleged he did.

A spokesperson for 10 Downing Street, the office of the U.K. prime minister, told Newsweek they were not aware that Johnson had ever made any such comments and were looking into the matter further.

In addition, a U.K. government source said Rogozin may be deliberately using disinformation.

It is possible that Rogozin was tweeting in response to a discussion about a hypothetical U.K. nuclear strike by Russian state TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov earlier this month.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February this year, Rogozin has become known for making inflammatory and pro-Russian statements on Twitter.

He made headlines shortly after Russia launched its invasion by claiming that the International Space Station could de-orbit if Russia decided to stop participating in its upkeep, and has also engaged in a heated argument with former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly.

More recently, Rogozin has tweeted several times about Russia's recent test of the Sarmat missile, which he described as a "gift to NATO". He added that deliveries of the missile to what he described as "strategic missile forces" would begin in the fall of this year.

The Sarmat missile has been in development for years. Russia claims it is "the most powerful missile that has the highest range in the world", according to a Defense Ministry statement.

That the missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads is yet another factor in increasing tensions between Moscow and the West. Many Western countries have been giving Ukraine weapons and other supplies to help it fight back against Russian occupying forces.