U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” British and Ukrainian officials said.
Driving the news: Johnson pledged new military assistance to Ukraine, including about 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, and guaranteed an additional $500 million in World Bank lending to Ukraine, per his office.
- “We’re setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country’s struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign,” Johnson wrote in a tweet after his meeting with Zelensky.
What they’re saying: “It is because of President Zelensky’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted,” Johnson said to Zelensky, per the prime minister’s office.
- “I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this ongoing fight, and we are in it for the long run.”
- “We are stepping up our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end, and ensure Ukraine survives and thrives as a free and sovereign nation,” Johnson said.
- “Right now Boris Johnson’s visit to Kyiv began with a tete-a-tete meeting with President Zelensky,” Zelensky aide Andrij Sybiha wrote on Facebook at the beginning of the pair’s meeting.
- “Great Britain leader in defense support of Ukraine. The leader in the anti-war coalition. Leader in sanctions on Russian aggressor,” Sybiha wrote.
State of play: In a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, Johnson announced new sanctions against the Russian economy and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric onslaught against Ukraine.”
- Johnson, who has been outspoken in his condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, called the Russian missile attack on a train station in the city of Kramatorsk a “war crime.”
- “The attack at the train station in eastern Ukraine shows the depths to which Putin’s vaunted army has sunk … Russia’s crimes in Ukraine will not go unnoticed or unpunished,” Johnson said on Friday.
Go deeper … Dashboard: Russian invasion of Ukraine