Why Did Boris Johnson Visit Ukraine And How Did He Get There?
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Why Did Boris Johnson Visit Ukraine And How Did He Get There?

Charis Gambon April 11, 2022

Boris Johnson made a surprise trip to Kyiv to meet the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however everyone want know know not only to why he went but how did he get there?

The UK Prime Minister made the journey on Saturday, April 9, during which he pledged a major assistance via British arms and financial aid to help counter the next stage in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Arms For Ukraine

Johnson has stated that as part of this assistance 120 armoured vehicles and 800 anti-tank missiles will be sent to Ukraine. Johnson’s visit to Kyiv arrived the day after he announced a further £100m worth of UK military assistance for Kyiv’s forces, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and so-called ‘suicide drones’.

As well as the additional military equipment which will be sent to Ukraine, Johnson also confirmed further economic support. Stating that Britain is guaranteeing an additional £385m in World Bank lending to Ukraine, taking total UK loan guarantees to £770m.

Surprise Visit For Support

A picture shared by Ukrainian officials via the twitter account UkrEmbLondon showed Johnson and Zelenskyy sitting across a table from one-another. The image has been captioned with the words ‘surprise’ followed by the winking emoji. The word choice was intentional as details of Johnson and Zelenskyy’s meeting had not been made public prior to the image’s release on Saturday afternoon.

Johnson also posted on his twitter account, on Saturday, about his visit to Kyiv and meeting with Zelenskyy calling the president his ‘friend’.

Johnson’s statement that he gave in Kyiv with Zelensky can be seen on the Gov.uk website in a video form as well as the full transcript. He started by stating: ‘I want to begin by once again saluting the bravery of the people of Ukraine in defying the appalling aggression that we have seen.’’  Johnson then added: ‘I think that the Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion, and you Volodymyr have given the roar of that lion.’

Johnson also commented in his statement that after the war crimes Russia committed in Bucha and Irpin that Britain would be ‘continue to intensify week by week the sanctions on Russia’. Adding, as a nation Britain will not only be ‘freezing assets in banks and sanctioning oligarchs, but moving away from use of Russian hydrocarbons’.

He also stated that the UK would be providing the much needed economic and military support for the Ukraine. Johnson made the statement saying: ‘I’m proud to say the UK helped to lead the way,’ in regard to the £1.5 billon recently raised for Ukraine within Britain.

Johnson has been praised by Zelenskyy for the high level of support for Ukraine and its people provided by Britain.  Stating that Britain has been ‘helping more’ than other leaders in the battle against Russia. Zelenskyy commented in an interview that ‘Britain is definitely on our side’.

How did he get to Kyiv?

Of course, everyone was curious how the PM made it to the war-torn country which millions have fled from – well it turns out her utilised public transport, in a way.

Johnson travelled to Ukraine by boarding a train from Poland to Kyiv. In a video shared by Ukrainian government organisation Ukrzaliznytsia on Facebook on Sunday it showed some of his journey.

Details of Johnsons trip were revealed within this video in which he thanked staff for making the visit possible. He stated that the Ukrainian rail workers are ‘the iron people’ for showing unwavering spirit in the face of Russian atrocities.

The short video provided the public a glimpse into how Johnsons high-risk visit was able to go ahead.

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Hi my name is Charis, I am a MA History of Warfare student at University of Birmingham. I have always enjoyed writing and I enjoy researching and writing about history, life, television, film and culture. I also enjoy new opportunities.