‘Ukraine WILL WIN this war!’ Boris sends stark warning to Putin as he touches down in Kyiv
The Prime Minister, making his last trip to the country before leaving office, insisted Kyiv “can and will win this war” as he set out a further £54 million package of military aid. His visit came as Ukraine marked 31 years since its independence from Moscow’s rule, coinciding with six months on from Vladimir Putin launching his brutal invasion.
Mr Johnson has formed a close bond with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in recent months.
His visit appears intended to demonstrate that the links between the two countries will continue once he has left No 10.
The Prime Minister said: “For the past six months, the United Kingdom has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine, supporting this sovereign country to defend itself from this barbaric and illegal invader.
“Today’s package of support will give the brave and resilient Ukrainian Armed Forces another boost in capability, allowing them to continue to push back Russian forces and fight for their freedom.
He said: “What happens in Ukraine matters to us all. That is why I am in Kyiv today.
“That is why the UK will continue to stand with our Ukrainian friends. I believe Ukraine can and will win this war.”
The Prime Minister will leave office on September 6, the day after either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak wins the Tory leadership contest.
Frontrunner Ms Truss has promised Ukraine will “have no greater ally” than the UK if she takes over from Mr Johnson.
Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Truss pointed to her record as Foreign Secretary since Russia’s assault.
She said: “We are already at the vanguard of international support in providing £2.3 billion in military aid, more than any other nation in Europe.
“We rallied our G7 partners in targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions ever on a major economy.”
It comes after Putin launched his invasion, which he describes as a “special military operation”, six months ago on February 24.
The Russian President initially set his sights on capital city Kyiv but was forced to pull back in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.
Moscow has since turned its focus to the east and south of the country.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today said Russia is in a “very fragile position”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I spoke to my intelligence chiefs this morning before coming on, you know, Russia’s advance can be measured in metres per week, not miles.
“It is grinding in small parts of the country in an attempt to advance – completely opposite of the three-days special operation that it touted at the beginning of this, six months ago.
“We pretty much accept, well, we do accept, the sort of observations of Russian losses to be – if you combine deaths, injuries, desertions – over 80,000 of their armed forces.
“That’s 80,000 in six months compared to 15,000 they lost in a decade in Afghanistan.
“I think we are in a position where Russia is in a very fragile position.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko has urged the UK to be patient as the war-torn country “cannot afford to lose your support”.
In a message on Independence Day, Mr Prystaiko said: “To every UK citizen who is supporting Ukraine and our common values – I ask for your patience.
“We cannot afford to lose your support. The UK is providing us with the tools to stop Russia from spreading its destructive influence across civilised nations.
“You are playing a very important part in this fight. Ukraine will do what it takes to claim victory...TAP.TO.READ MORE.
“When the war is over, there is certainly a great future for us all – one with close friendship tested through mutual struggles and the perseverance to tackle issues affecting the modern world.”