UK's Johnson to hail Ukraine’s ‘finest hour’ in Kyiv parliament

Prime minister will echo the words of Winston Churchill as he praises Ukrainian spirit

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline a new financial package for Ukraine in a video address to the parliament in Kyiv. AFP.

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Boris Johnson will hail the resistance of Ukrainians in the face of the brutal Russian invasion as their “finest hour” when he delivers an address to the country’s parliament.

Speaking by video link, the prime minister will use a speech to the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday to set out details of a new £300 million ($375 million) package of military support for the government in Kyiv.

Downing Street said it will include electronic warfare equipment, a counter battery radar system, GPS jamming equipment and thousands of night vision devices, as Russia’s offensive in the Donbas region continues.

It follows Mr Johnson’s unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital last month, in a show of support and solidarity with president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In his address, the prime minister will echo the words of Winston Churchill to the British people during the Second World War, as Mr Zelenskyy did when he spoke to the Westminster Parliament in March.

“When my country faced the threat of invasion during the Second World War, our Parliament, like yours, continued to meet throughout the conflict, and the British people showed such unity and resolve that we remember our time of greatest peril as our finest hour,” Mr Johnson is expected to say.

“This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national story that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come.

“Your children and grandchildren will say that Ukrainians taught the world that the brute force of an aggressor counts for nothing against the moral force of a people determined to be free.”

The latest military support package comes after British ministers updated Parliament last week on plans to send sophisticated long-range Brimstone missiles and Stormer air defence vehicles.

In addition, the UK is to supply heavy lift aerial drones to provide logistical support to Ukrainian forces that have become isolated.

Downing Street said the UK was also sending more than a dozen new specialised Toyota Land Cruisers to protect civilian officials in eastern Ukraine and to evacuate civilians from frontline areas, in line with a request from the Ukrainian government.

Updated: May 02, 2022, 9:30 PM