Ukraine will win the war and “be free”, says Boris Johnson in parliament in Kyiv | world news


Ukrainian troops will defeat their Russian counterparts and the country will be “liberated” from occupation, Boris Johnson told the Ukrainian parliament – adding that it was a fight of “good against evil”.

The British Prime Minister, who became the first world leader to address Ukrainian MPs since Russia invaded in late February, said Ukraine had proven military experts “completely wrong”.

In a recorded address, he also told the Verkhovna Rada that “the so-called irresistible force of Putin’s war machine has shattered on the unshakeable object of Ukrainian patriotism.”

“Ukraine will win, Ukraine will be free,” he said, as Ukrainian soldiers “fought with the energy and courage of lions.”

“You proved the old adage – it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Russian soldiers “no longer have the excuse of not knowing what they are doing”, added the Prime Minister, flanked by the British and Ukrainian flags.

They “commit war crimes” and their “atrocities occur wherever they are forced to retreat”.

It is a conflict without “moral ambiguities or gray areas”, the prime minister told politicians watching from kyiv.

These are “freedom from oppression”, “good from evil”, and “good from evil”.

Ukrainian MPs applaud Boris Johnson

Addressing Vladimir Putin, the prime minister said the war had exposed the Russian leader’s “historic folly” – the “gigantic mistake that only an autocrat can make”.

“When a leader rules by fear, rigs elections, imprisons critics, gags the media and only listens to sycophants – when there is no limit to his power – that is when ‘he makes catastrophic mistakes,’ Mr Johnson said.

“Free media, the rule of law, free elections and strong parliaments, like yours” are the “best protections against the perils of arbitrary power”, he continued.

What Vladimir Putin has done is an “advertisement for democracy”, the prime minister said, and the “hulks of Russian armor that litter your fields and streets” are “monuments to his madness”.

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“Shock”: the return of the British ambassador to kyiv

The conflict is Ukraine’s “finest hour”, the prime minister said at the meeting in Kyiv.

“Your children and grandchildren will say that Ukrainians taught the world that the brute strength of an aggressor counts for nothing against the moral strength of a people determined to be free,” he said.

But he also noted the “terrible price” the Ukrainian people have paid.

“Today, at least one in four Ukrainians have been driven from their homes, and it is a horrifying fact that two-thirds of all Ukrainian children are now refugees, whether inside the country or elsewhere. .”

The Prime Minister also said that other countries had been “too slow to grasp what was really going on” and “failed to impose the sanctions that we should have imposed on Vladimir Putin”.

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Evacuees leave the Mariupol steel plant

Another £300m in UK military aid was announced as Ukraine continues to struggle against the Russian invasion.

It includes a counter-battery radar system, heavy drones, GPS jamming equipment and thousands of night vision devices.

In the coming weeks, the UK will send Brimstone anti-ship missiles, Stormer anti-aircraft systems and armored vehicles to evacuate civilians, Mr Johnson promised.

The UK will continue to supply Ukraine, Mr Johnson said, until no one “dares” to attack it again.

In the bombed city of Mariupol, it is hoped that more people can be evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks on Tuesday.

More than 100 people, including elderly women and mothers with young children, walked out of the rubble-strewn site over the weekend.

However, around 200 people remain inside. Aid workers have prepared hot meals, wheelchairs and toys for those who can get to safety.

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