NICOLA Sturgeon has deleted a tweet about more than 40,000 Russian soldiers being “eliminated” in Ukraine after being accused of “glorifying war”.
The First Minister posted a message about the statistic accompanied by a strong arm emoji earlier today, sparking a backlash on social media.
Ms Sturgeon had used the same light-hearted image to celebrate the English lionesses winning the UEFA Women’s Euros on Sunday.
The row started after the Ukrainian Defence Ministry posted a graphic about “total combat losses of the enemy” since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
The biggest of the 13 statistics listed was around 41,170 “eliminated personnel”.
It was accompanied by a quote from Robert Burns’s Scots Wha Hae: “Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty’s in every blow!- Let us do or die!”.
Ms Sturgeon retweeted the post, adding the emojis for the Ukrainian flag and the strong arm, plus the hashtags #robertburns and #solidarity.
Her message was criticised by other Twitter users.
Mercedes Villalba, Labour MSP for North East Scotland, said: “The First Minister of Scotland should not be glorifying war. It is possible to oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine without celebrating the deaths of 41,000 people.
“Take down the post and apologise for this lapse in judgement. This is not what solidarity means.”
One pro-independence account tweeted: “As much as I support indy this is just a bit too far.
“Supporting the death of 41,000 young men is just awful. Conscripted men that had little to no choice in fighting or not.”
Alba party general secretary Chris McEleny said: “There are no good wars.
“Scotland should be a beacon for peace in the world and we should never settle for a situation that the best we can do is celebrate sending more arms to a war zone.
“It is not a good thing that over 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, this is a tragedy of war, one that should be regretted as a bitter consequence of the illegal invasion.
“If the First Minister wishes to celebrate the work of Robert Burns in context of the Ukraine War I would urge her to reflect on these words:
“Ye Hypocrites, are these yer pranks/ To murder men and gie God thanks/ Desist for shame, proceed no further / God won’t accept your thanks for murder.”