Boris Johnson Meets Ukraine President Zelenskyy In 'Surprise' Visit To Kyiv
| Last updated
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has flown to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in person as Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation' approaches its seventh week in Ukraine.
Johnson's arrival in Kyiv was shared by Ukrainian Embassy to the UK on Twitter, showing a photo of the pair talking and captioned: "Surprise."
Surprise 😉 pic.twitter.com/AWa5RjYosD— Embassy of Ukraine to the UK (@UkrEmbLondon) April 9, 2022
Other foreign leaders have been travelling to Ukraine to offer their support, particularly after the shocking images of the 'massacre' in Bucha, one of several atrocities bolstering war crime allegations towards Russia.
Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer and EU President Ursula von der Leyen have been talking to officials and military figures in the country this weekend.
It's not entirely clear what will come of Johnson's visit to Kyiv as the PM is yet to formally acknowledge his trip through his own channels.
We stand with Ukraine.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 8, 2022
Wir stehen fest an der Seite der Ukraine.
Сполучене Королівство стає разом з Україною. pic.twitter.com/vOPfUBebWF
Andriy Sybiha, the deputy head of Zelenskyy's office, also shared the image on Facebook, writing: "Great Britain is a leader in Ukraine's defence support. Leader in the anti-war coalition. Leader in sanctions against the Russian aggressor."
Speaking to LBC, Johnson earlier compared Zelenskyy to Winston Churchill for his wartime resilience.
"He knows, as Churchill said of himself, he may not have been the lion but he's been privileged to give the roar," he said.
"It's the Ukrainian people who have been the lion, and he's expressed their will and their sense of defiance."
Johnson is said to have forged a closer relationship with Zelenskyy in recent weeks, coming after the President said 'Britain is definitely on our side' and 'not performing a balancing act' unlike other nations.
When asked if Johnson was more forthcoming with weapons support than French President Emmanuel Macron, he said: "Yes. To be honest, Johnson is a leader who is helping more. The leaders of countries react according to how their constituents act. In this case, Johnson is an example."
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the attack on Kramatorsk railway station, in which five children were among at least 50 people killed, was a deliberate message to European leaders visiting Ukraine.
Vereshchuk said (as per The Guardian): "You have to take into account that there were evacuations from Kramatorsk every day.
"Only today, when high-ranking European leaders are in Kyiv, do they decide to kill so many people, exactly knowing that there is an evacuation going on."
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information