UK’s Boris Johnson makes surprise trip to Ukraine, joins Zelenskyy in fearless stroll around Kyiv

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In what is described as a show of solidarity, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Saturday, which included a walking tour of Kyiv alongside the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Johnson pledged about $130 million in additional aid from Britain to the war-torn country, which reportedly includes anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, plus armored vehicles, to help defend Ukraine in what the PM and Conservative Party leader called an “inexcusable war.”

Johnson’s government also plans to increase economic support to Ukraine through World Bank loan guarantees.

During the visit, which included a sit-down with Zelenskyy and his inner circle, a press conference, as well as a stroll around the city, Johnson told his counterpart that “I think that the Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion, and you Volodymyr have given the roar of that lion. The Russians believed Ukraine could be engulfed in a matter of days and that Kyiv would falls in hours to their armies. How wrong they were.”

Johnson also said that “over the last few hours, I’ve been able to see quite a lot of your beautiful country, and it’s an amazing country. I’ve also seen the tragic effect of the war…an absolutely inexcusable and unnecessary war.

“But having been here in Kyiv just for a few hours, I have absolutely no doubt, Volodymyr, listening to you, listening to your team, your redoubtable team, I have no doubt at all that an independent sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks above all to the heroism, the courage of the people of Ukraine.”

Johnson accused Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in the course of the invasion of the neighboring nation and also indicated that Putin is likely face additional intensified economic sanctions imposed by the West.

Zelenskyy thanks Johnson for the ongoing backing.

According to the Daily Mail, Johnson’s visit was leaked on social media instead of being kept hush-hush: “The visit was intended to be kept secret until the Prime Minister had flown out of the war zone. His arrival was, however, mistakenly announced in a mid-afternoon tweet by Ukraine’s embassy to the UK, which posted a picture of him chatting with Zelenskyy, with the caption: Surprise.”

Johnson is the first G7 (Group of Seven) leader to visit Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, since the war started on February 24. The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.

“Mr. Johnson and Mr. Zelensky praised each other at a news conference after their meeting for their cooperation since the Russian invasion…The Ukrainian president called for ‘a complete ban on Russian energy supplies, and increase the delivery of weapons to us,'” the New York Times reported.

Russia has reportedly pulled back its military forces from the Kyiv area in advance of mounting an expected offensive in the eastern part of Ukraine.

“The surreal spectacle of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky strolling through streets that just days ago were under Russian control or subject to near-constant attacks underscored the degree to which battle lines have shifted,” the Washington Post claimed.


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