'You teach us what it means to be strong': Boris pens touching letter to Ukraine children

22 May 2022, 22:50 | Updated: 22 May 2022, 23:45

Boris Johnson has written to the children of Ukraine.
Boris Johnson has written to the children of Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Boris Johnson has penned an emotional letter to the children of Ukraine, commending their "strength" and how they have held their heads high in the "toughest of times".

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The Prime Minister said Ukrainian children - many of whom have been separated from their families - should be "immensely proud" of their country and how it has resisted Russian aggression.

He said they should know that they have "millions" of friends around the world as he reassured them they are not alone in this barbaric invasion of their homes.

The Prime Minister said he was "very sad" to see youngsters absent from the streets and parks of Kyiv when he visited the Ukrainian capital last month, adding: "I cannot imagine how difficult this year must have been for you."

"When your president showed me around Kyiv last month, the absence of children and young people on the streets and in the parks made me feel very sad," he wrote.

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"Since the invasion many of you have been forced to flee your homes. You have left behind family, friends, pets, toys and all that is familiar, seeking refuge in underground stations, distant cities, even other countries. I cannot imagine how difficult this year must have been for you."

Mr Johnson said the children should be proud of their country, their parents, their families, their soldiers, and "most of all" themselves.

"Many of you have seen or experienced things no child should have to witness," he wrote.

"Yet, every day Ukrainian children are teaching all of us what it means to be strong and dignified, to hold your head high in even the toughest of times. I can think of no better role model for children and adults everywhere."

The PM said the children may be separated from their friends at home but they have "millions of others all over the world", including in the UK.

He told them about how the colours of yellow and blue have been flown from our homes, offices, churches, shops and playgrounds, and even from his roof in Downing Street.

"Our young people are painting your flag in their classrooms and making blue and yellow bracelets in support of your country."

He added: "I believe, like your president, that Ukraine is going to win this war. I hope with all my heart that, one day soon, you will be free to return to your homes, your schools, your families.

"And whatever happens, however long it takes, we in the UK will never forget you, and will always be proud to call you our friends."

On Saturday, Cabinet ministers Liz Truss and Anne-Marie Trevelyan discussed the situation in Ukraine during meetings with a bipartisan US congressional delegation.

The talks followed the Foreign Secretary's revelation on Friday that she wants to see Moldova "equipped to Nato standard" to guard it against potential Russian aggression.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Ms Truss said the UK is discussing the prospect with its allies, given President Vladimir Putin has been "clear about his ambitions to create a greater Russia".