Brits could fight in a future war with Russia, warns army chief – and the memes are already coming

The head of the British army has warned that ordinary citizens might have to join the military if the country was to go to war with Russia in the future, and social media has been less than pleased. 

According Sky News, Sir Patrick Sanders, the outgoing chief of the general staff, said the British public should be “trained and equipped” to fight in a potential war, because Russian president Vladimir Putin plans on “defeating our system and way of life.”

During an address at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference, in west London, on Wednesday (24 January), general Sanders claimed that, if necessary, increasing the army’s numbers would have to be a “whole-of-nation undertaking”.

He went on to say: “Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars, citizen armies win them,” referring to the fact that many Ukrainians have chosen to stay and fight since their country was invaded by Russia almost two years ago.

“We need an army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon and train and equip the citizen army that must follow,” Sanders continued.

The comments follow a speech by defence secretary Grant Schapps on 15 January which he claimed the UK was “moving from a post-war to a pre-war world”. 

Downing Street has ruled out conscripting Britons to fight, saying serving in the army will remain voluntary, Sky News reported.

However, Sanders’ speech has been seen by some as a warning that British men and women should be ready for a call-up if NATO countries go to war with Russia.

And that brought a swift reaction online with social media users running wild with memes. 

Me on the frontline

— Ad (@AdamRowberry100) January 24, 2024

Twitter/X users haven’t exactly been taking the news too seriously, saying they’ll do anything – from renouncing feminism to claiming dual citizenship – to dodge conscription.

Others have risen to the challenge, but claimed they’d hardly be useful on the front line, with dance moves their only weapon.

Here are some the funniest reactions from those who want to avoid taking on Putin.

the british twitter gays marching into war x

— george griffiths (@georgegriffiths) January 24, 2024

“We calling to see if you would be available to-”

— t (@whatsthetee__) January 24, 2024

Me when an army recruitment officer approaches me about #conscription

— Joe (@joepaulsullivan) January 24, 2024

I love being a woman. Going to war is a man’s job xx

— ƆC (@CHXN3L) January 24, 2024

The feminism leaving my body when the army recruitment starts.

— Laura Kirk-Francis (@LauraKirk12) January 25, 2024

We’re now sending brits to join the army in our fight against Russia


— Matt (@LegendEskimoBoy) January 25, 2024

me and the girlies on the front line when they refuse to count anxiety as a valid medical exemption

— Joe Gurski (@j0egurski) January 24, 2024

Me when they ask why I’m not going to war

— Steven Mckell! (@stevenmckell) January 24, 2024

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