Boris Johnson Calls Russia War ‘Ukraine’s Best Hour’
LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukrainian lawmakers on Tuesday that their heroic defense against Russia’s invasion would rank as “Ukraine’s greatest hour,” citing the statement. Winston Churchill’s famous story of the British as they faced the onslaught of Nazi Germany at the beginning of the Second World War.
In his first speech by a foreign leader to Ukraine’s parliament, Mr Johnson made his mark as a staunch supporter of Ukraine and a close ally of its president, Volodymyr Zelensky. In tone and subject matter, Mr Johnson’s speech mirrored Mr Zelensky’s speech to the UK Parliament in March.
“You have blown up the myth of Putin’s invincibility and you have written one of the most glorious chapters in military history and in the life of your country,” Mr Johnson said of Mr. President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin. “The so-called irresistible power of Putin’s war machine has broken the immutable object of Ukrainian patriotism and love of country.”
“This is Ukraine’s finest hour, that will be remembered and told for generations to come,” he said in a video address recorded from Downing Street that was broadcast in the Houses of Parliament.
Mr. Johnson stressed that no peace deal with Russia was supported by outsiders in favor of Ukraine. The bravery of Ukrainian citizens has helped the country take control of its destiny, he said. Moreover, he added, the West was slow to grasp the threat posed by Putin when Russia occupied Crimea in 2014.
“We failed to impose the sanctions that we should have imposed on Vladimir Putin,” he said. “We can’t make the same mistake again.”
Mr Johnson announced Britain would provide Ukraine with additional weapons, including electronic warfare equipment, jet radar systems and GPS jammers. The package, worth 300 million pounds ($375 million), builds on a $33 billion weapons and humanitarian aid pledge that President Biden has asked Congress to approve.
Britain recently announced plans to provide more sophisticated missiles and air defense vehicles to the Ukrainian military, as well as armored vehicles to evacuate civilians from the hit areas. Mr Johnson said Britain had also returned its ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, to her post in Kyiv.
For Mr Johnson, the invitation to speak to Parliament, known as the Verkhovna Rada, was a significant gesture from Mr Zelensky to a leader with whom he has forged a strong bond over dozens of phone calls. . Last month, Mr. Johnson traveling to Ukraine and walked the streets of Kyiv with Mr. Zelensky, winning praise from Ukrainians, as well as people back home.
Mr Johnson’s Conservative Party faces tough local elections on Thursday, and he is still not out of the shadows. a scandal about his attendance at social gatherings violating Covid restrictions. But his firm stance on Ukraine has somewhat deflected the light from his growing domestic woes.