HEATHER Mills has revealed how she convinced Vladimir Putin to stop making weapons and shared her views on the war in Ukraine.

The former Brighton and Hove resident met the Russian leader in 2003 while on tour with her then husband Paul McCartney.

In an interview on The Argus Podcast, Heather said she was attempting to convince governments to stop mass producing and stockpiling land mines amid conflict in Yugoslavia.

“We were travelling around the world touring, I said, ‘let’s do a concert in Russia and try and get a meeting with Putin’, so I could see if he will ratify,” she said.

Having previously got support from then US President Bill Clinton and Princess Diana, the businesswoman and activist met with Putin and had a tour of the Kremlin.

“What we needed was China, America and Russia – they were the big manufacturers and distributers of land mines. And setting up a concert meant we got to meet,” she said.

“In all honesty, my experience was that everything that I asked for happened. And everything that was said was done.

“A few years later it was done, and I never had contact again.”

The Argus: Former Brighton and Hove resident Heather Mills Former Brighton and Hove resident Heather Mills

Discussing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the 54-year-old said, “both sides are as bad as each other”.

“Having had a lot of Russian and Ukrainian friends, there are two sides to the story,” she said.

“Let me make it clear, I’m completely against war. Never, ever do they work. But a lot of Ukrainian people have terrible medical care, tiny wages and want to be part of Russia. And they should be allowed to be part of Russia.

“To have a war is absolutely insane because it creates devastation. But the Ukrainians are not innocent, and neither are the Russians.

“And certainly, we are not innocent as a government. Or any governments involved. There is always an agenda.”

Heather, who now runs vegan food company VBites, said the UK and US governments are “only interested in helping countries that they can get something out of”.

“We’re only helping Ukraine as a government because we want the pipe lines, we want access to all the ingredients as there is massive shortage of wheat and gluten at the moment,” she said.

“Also, they are selling weapons no matter how much they say they are handing them over.

“As far as the Ukraine and Russia situation is concerned, both sides are as bad as each other.

“All wars are a complete waste of time, money, lives, everything. Nobody gains anything, expect potentially some governments.”

The full episode of The Argus Podcast featuring Heather Mills is available now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts