Boris Johnson Calls Russia War ‘Ukraine’s Finest Hour’

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed Ukrainian lawmakers on Tuesday that their heroic protection towards Russia’s invasion would rank as “Ukraine’s most interesting hour,” invoking Winston Churchill’s well-known declaration about Britons as they confronted the Nazi onslaught at the start of World Warfare II.

Within the first tackle by a international chief to Ukraine’s Parliament, Mr. Johnson burnished his credentials as a stalwart supporter of Ukraine and a detailed ally of its president, Volodymyr Zelensky. In tone and themes, Mr. Johnson’s speech mirrored one which Mr. Zelensky gave to the British Parliament in March.

“You may have exploded the parable of Putin’s invincibility and you’ve got written some of the superb chapters in army historical past and within the lifetime of your nation,” Mr. Johnson mentioned, referring to the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. “The so-called irresistible pressure of Putin’s battle machine has damaged on the immovable object of Ukrainian patriotism and love of nation.”

“That is Ukraine’s most interesting hour, that might be remembered and recounted for generations to return,” he mentioned in a video tackle recorded from Downing Avenue that was broadcast within the Parliament’s chamber.

Mr. Johnson insisted that no peace settlement with Russia must be foisted on the Ukrainians by outsiders. The braveness of Ukraine’s residents, he mentioned, had earned the nation the precise to manage its future. Furthermore, he added, the West had been sluggish to understand the menace posed by Mr. Putin when Russia seized Crimea in 2014.

“We collectively did not impose the sanctions then that we must always have placed on Vladimir Putin,” he mentioned. “We can not make the identical mistake once more.”

Mr. Johnson introduced that Britain would offer extra weapons to Ukraine, together with digital warfare gear, a counter-battery radar system, and G.P.S.-jamming gear. The bundle, valued at 300 million kilos ($375 million), comes on the heels of a large $33 billion dedication of arms and humanitarian assist that President Biden has requested Congress to approve.

Britain just lately introduced plans to offer extra refined missiles and air-defense automobiles to the Ukrainian army, in addition to armored automobiles to evacuate civilians from areas below assault. Mr. Johnson mentioned Britain had additionally returned its ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, to her put up in Kyiv.

For Mr. Johnson, the invitation to talk to the Parliament, referred to as the Verkhovna Rada, was a big gesture by Mr. Zelensky to a pacesetter with whom he has cast a sturdy relationship over the course of dozens of telephone calls. Final month, Mr. Johnson traveled to Ukraine and walked the streets of Kyiv with Mr. Zelensky, successful plaudits from Ukrainians, in addition to individuals again dwelling.

Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Social gathering faces tough native elections on Thursday, and he has but to flee the shadow of a scandal over his attendance at social gatherings that violated Covid restrictions. However his agency stand on Ukraine has deflected among the glare from his proliferating home woes.

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