'Ukraine will win': Boris gets standing ovation as first leader to address Kyiv Parliament

3 May 2022, 13:10 | Updated: 3 May 2022, 14:49

Boris Johnson addressing Kyiv Parliament.
Boris Johnson addressing Kyiv Parliament. Picture: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

By Sophie Barnett

Boris Johnson has delivered a historic message to the Ukrainian Parliament in which he hailed the courage of the Ukrainian soldiers and said "Ukraine will win".

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Mr Johnson saluted Ukrainian MPs as he addressed them on Tuesday, becoming the first world leader to speak at Kyiv's Parliament since Russia's illegal invasion began.

In a short clip of the address tweeted by Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko, the Prime Minister could be heard saying: "It is a big honour for me to address you at this crucial moment in history, and I salute the courage with which you are meeting today, and will continue to meet in spite of the barbaric onslaught on your freedoms."

Mr Johnson stood for the Ukrainian national anthem, before being introduced by the Speaker of the Parliament, and used his speech to say Ukraine will win the war and will "be free".

He said it's "good versus evil" as he addressed the UK's "brothers and sisters".

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Mr Johnson accused Putin of a "grotesque and illegal campaign" to take and hold Ukrainian soil.

"And his soldiers no longer have the excuse of not knowing what they are doing," Mr Johnson said.

"They are committing war crimes, and their atrocities emerge wherever they are forced to retreat – as we’ve seen at Bucha, at Irpin at Hostomel and many other places.

Boris Johnson spoke to Kyiv Parliament today.
Boris Johnson spoke to Kyiv Parliament today. Picture: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

"We in the UK will do whatever we can to hold them to account for these war crimes and in this moment of uncertainty, of continuing fear and doubt. I have one message for you today: Ukraine will win, Ukraine will be free."

Mr Johnson also outlined a further £300 million of support to Ukraine, including a number of weapons.

"In the coming weeks, we in the UK will send you Brimstone anti-ship missiles and Stormer anti-aircraft systems.

"We are providing armoured vehicles to evacuate civilians from areas under attack and protect officials - what Volodymyr (Zelensky) mentioned to me in our most recent call - while they maintain critical infrastructure.

"I can announce today from the UK Government a new package of support totalling £300 million, including radars to pinpoint the artillery bombarding your cities, heavy lift drones to supply your forces and thousands of night vision devices.

"We will carry on supplying Ukraine, alongside your other friends, with weapons, funding and humanitarian aid, until we have achieved our long-term goal, which must be so to fortify Ukraine that no-one will ever dare to attack you again."

Boris Johnson and President Zelenskyy in Kyiv on a previous visit.
Boris Johnson and President Zelenskyy in Kyiv on a previous visit. Picture: Alamy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke after the Prime Minister – saying the UK and Ukraine are now “brothers and sisters” and welcomed Mr Johnson's steadfast friendship and support.

Earlier today, Mr Johnson was pressed on why the UK is making it harder for refugees than other European countries in an interview conducted by Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain.

He defended the Government's efforts, but admitted the UK could have reacted faster in helping refugees.

He said "large numbers" of those fleeing the war are now coming to Britain, but said "perhaps, they could" have done it more quickly.