This is your finest hour, Johnson to address the Ukrainian Parliament

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – When Boris Johnson speaks to Ukraine’s parliament later, he will call the country’s resistance to the Russian invasion its “finest hour.”

He will also lay out the details of £300 million in additional military support in a video address to MPs on Tuesday.

GPS jammers, electronic warfare equipment, night-vision devices and a counter-battery radar system, according to Downing Street would be included.

It comes after the Prime Minister’s unexpected visit to Kyiv last month.

Mr Johnson’s speech is anticipated to repeat Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s sentiments, exactly as Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelensky did in March when he spoke to MPs at Westminster.

The prime minister is likely to declare that the British Parliament met during WWII, much as Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada did during the war with Russia, and that the British people demonstrated “such unity and resolve that we remember our time of greatest peril as our finest hour”.

“This is Ukraine’s finest hour,” he would declare, “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.”

Mr Johnson said the UK was leading the world in aiding Ukraine to protect itself, in an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

What the UK was doing – and had done since the crisis began – was leading the world in assisting the Ukrainians in defending themselves against Vladimir Putin’s barbarous attack, he said. That was all they were doing.

“We’re not saying we’re doing this in order to drive some geopolitical change or to have an outcome in Moscow.

“What we care about is Ukrainian people and their suffering, and it is totally unjustifiable to allow a free, sovereign, independent country, like Ukraine, just to be overwhelmed and obliterated as it might have been.”

When asked about the Ukrainian UK ambassador’s request that MPs waive visa requirements for refugees who were fleeing the country, the PM said it was critical to guard the system from those who would want to exploit it.

Mr Johnson claimed that while 86,000 visas have been granted, just 27,000 refugees have arrived. He claimed that the UK could have reacted more quickly.

Melinda Simmons, the UK’s ambassador to Ukraine, claimed she was surprised to witness bombed schools and hospitals upon her return to Kyiv.

She also stated that the UK was assisting Ukraine in gathering evidence of possible war crimes.

Radar equipment designed to identify artillery shells and missiles and then pinpoint the weapons that fired them are part of the newest round of military assistance.

Heavy lift aerial drones, which may transfer supplies to Ukrainian soldiers that have been isolated, are also being supplied by the UK.

In addition, Downing Street announced that more than a dozen new specialised Toyota Land Cruisers will be dispatched to safeguard civilian authorities in eastern Ukraine, where Russian military are now stationed.

The vehicles, which the Ukrainian government had requested, may also be deployed to transport civilians away from the combat lines.

It comes after ministers announced last week that they would be able to give Ukraine with long-range Brimstone missiles as well as dispatch Stormer armoured vehicles to help air defence of the country.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Party’s leader, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that his party supports sending military aid to Ukraine, but that the government should do more on sanctions and process refugees far more rapidly.

He believes that all political parties’ in-principle attitude that they stand up for Ukraine, stand with Ukraine, and fight against Russian aggression is critical, he said.

Layla Moran, a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs committee, said it was the right decision but the “wrong timing” to send more weapons to Ukraine, claiming that they were sorely required just a week ago.

She questioned if the PM had waited until after the local elections to make the news, which she described as very cynical.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.