UK PM Boris Johnson pays surprise visit to Ukraine President Zelensky in Kyiv, pledges more aid

Johnson revealed a new package of financial and military aid for Ukraine and vowed further sanctions against Russia.

Lean Jinghui | April 10, 2022, 12:23 PM

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise in-person visit to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in the capital Kyiv on Saturday, Apr. 9.

In a tweet by Ukraine's Embassy to the United Kingdom on Apr. 9, Johnson was seen seated opposite Zelensky in a pink and green stuccoed room. The post was captioned with the word "Surprise" and a winking face emoji.

New package of financial & military aid

Johnson later confirmed the visit in a tweet, sharing that he had met with Zelensky "as a show of our [the UK's] unwavering support for the people of Ukraine."

He also revealed a new package of financial and military aid for Ukraine in his tweet.

Following the meeting, BBC and The Guardian reported that Downing Street said the UK would send 120 armoured vehicles and anti-ship missile systems to support Ukraine.

The UK has pledged £100m in military assistance last week, including another 800 anti-tank missiles and more anti-aircraft weapons.

"Ukrainians have the courage of a lion"

According to the BBC, Johnson praised Zelensky's resolute leadership and the heroism and courage of all Ukrainians during his visit.

He said that Ukraine had "defied the odds" in pushing back Russian forces from Kyiv, "achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century".

In a tweet, Johnson later shared: "The Ukrainians have the courage of a lion. President Zelensky has given the roar of a lion. The UK stands unwaveringly with the people of Ukraine."

In a video posted to the 10 Downing Street YouTube account, Zelensky said that he was grateful for Johnson's visit, adding that the meeting was especially important during "very difficult and turbulent times" for Ukraine.

"This is a true reflection for the decisive and significant support to Ukraine from United Kingdom and we are always grateful for that — we shall always remember that," added Zelensky.

During the press conference, Johnson also vowed that the UK will continue to intensify sanctions against Russia, and support Ukrainian defense.

"We will influence Russia's ability to use its energy resources. The war determines the vision of Ukraine's future, so our partners and I will supply Ukraine with equipment, technology, intelligence so that Ukraine never faces the horrors of invasion and blackmail."

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Top image via 10 Downing Street YouTube