News and Analysis

‘Slava Ukraini’: Boris Johnson Makes Unannounced Visit To Kyiv
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 09: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "UKRAINIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 09, 2022. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, walking through the war-torn streets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and discussing what western nations could do to continue to provide aid to his people.

Johnson’s arrival came just days after Ukrainian defense forces were able to push Russian occupation troops out of Kyiv and the surrounding areas.

The visiting British leader tweeted a video of the two walking through the empty capital city of Kyiv, surrounded by armed Ukrainian defense forces, along with the following caption: “The Ukrainians have the courage of a lion. President @ZelenskyyUa has given the roar of that lion. The UK stands unwaveringly with the people of Ukraine. Slava Ukraini.”

“Over the last few hours, I’ve been able to see quite a lot of your beautiful country,” Johnson said. “And it’s an amazing country. I’ve also seen the tragic effects of the war. An inexcusable war, an absolutely inexcusable and unnecessary war.”

“But having been here in Kyiv just for a few hours, I have absolutely no doubt Volodymyr — listening to you, listening to your team, your redoubtable team — I have no doubt at all that an independent sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks above all to the heroism, the courage of the people of Ukraine,” Johnson continued.

“Thank you very much, and Slava Ukraini,” Johnson concluded, adding the phrase that is translated as “Glory to Ukraine.”

“Today I met my friend President in Kyiv as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine,” Johnson shared in a second tweet. “We’re setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country’s struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign.”

Illia Ponomorenko, defense reporter with The Kyiv Independent, cheered the meeting of the two world leaders, saying, “This is one of the greatest videos the internet has ever seen.”

“@BorisJohnson´s visit to Kyiv (he didn’t come with empty hands) is historically remarkable and widely appreciated in Ukraine,” Inna Shevchenko added.

A number of people noted that while they were not fans of Johnson or his leadership, they applauded him for making the trip.

“Make fun of him as much as you wish to, but @BorisJohnson is walking the talk. In fact most of the so called liberal leadership in West is only giving lip service to; and its the much criticized conservative leaders who are actually doing what they are expected to do,” Yashwant Deshmukh tweeted.

Former State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who served during former President Donald Trump’s administration, was among those who praised Johnson for putting his money where his mouth was.

“This is awesome. So proud of Bojo & UK for visiting #Ukraine,” she tweeted, adding the hashtag “#BorisJohnson.”

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