Boris Johnson has acknowledged that the West had ‘collectively failed’ in its response to the Russian invasion of Crimea eight years ago and has pledged to provide Ukraine with ‘more weapons, funding and supplies’. ‘humanitarian aid “.
The British Prime Minister, in a virtual address to the Ukrainian parliament, condemned President Vladimir Putin’s “grotesque and illegal campaign” in Ukraine, adding that the UK would hold the Russian leader accountable for war crimes.
The conflict in Ukraine had “no moral ambiguities” or “grey areas”, Johnson added.
“It’s about Ukrainian democracy versus Putin’s tyranny; it is about freedom from oppression; it is good versus evil; it’s about good versus evil,” he told the Verkhovna Rada parliamentarians. Western leaders must not repeat the mistakes of 2014, when President Putin invaded Crimea, the prime minister added.
“The truth is that we were too slow to understand what was really going on and we collectively failed to impose the sanctions that we should have imposed on Vladimir Putin,” he said.
Johnson hailed the bravery of the Ukrainians, saying they fought “with the energy and courage of lions”.
“Your children and grandchildren will say that Ukrainians taught the world that the brute strength of an aggressor counts for nothing against the moral strength of a people determined to be free,” he said. “I believe Ukraine will win.”
Johnson unveiled a £300million military support package, with weapons for Ukraine including Brimstone anti-ship missiles and Stormer anti-aircraft systems. Melinda Simmons, UK ambassador to Ukraine, would return to Kyiv to reopen the UK embassy, he added.