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Boris Johnson makes surprise visit to Ukraine after invite from Zelensky

The former Prime Minister has been spotted in the war-torn town of Bucha after receiving a personal invitation to visit the country from President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Boris Johnson visited Ukraine after receiving a personal invite from Volodymyr Zelensky

/ REUTERS

In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “It is a privilege to visit Ukraine at the invitation of President Zelensky.

“The suffering of the people of Ukraine has gone on for too long.

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“The only way to end this war is for Ukraine to win – and to win as fast as possible. This is the moment to double down and to give the Ukrainians all the tools they need to finish the job.

“The sooner Putin fails, the better for Ukraine and for the whole world.”

A spokesperson for Rishi Sunak said he is “supportive” of Mr Johnson’s decision to visit Ukraine.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary said he is “always supportive of all colleagues showing that the UK is behind Ukraine and will continue to support them”.

It comes after Mr Johnson was awarded a Citizen of Kyiv medal for his support for Ukraine.

The ex-PM met Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir, both former world boxing champions, at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

Speaking at a Ukraine breakfast event, Mr Johnson urged the West to “give them the tanks” they need to take on Russia.

He also quipped it was time for Mr Putin to “get the puck out of Ukraine” after a Canadian politician used an ice hockey metaphor to describe the conflict.

Mr Johnson called for resolve in facing down Mr Putin’s aggression.

“Putin wants to present it as a nuclear stand-off between Nato and Russia: nonsense – he’s not going to use nuclear weapons.

“He’s like the fat boy in Dickens who wants to make our flesh creep. He wants us to think about it – he’s never going to do it.”

He argued that doing so would see Russia put in an “economic, cryogenic paralysis” and alienate states such as India and China currently “giving him the benefit of the doubt” as well as terrifying his own people.

The former prime minister said: “He’s not going to do it – don’t go down that rabbit hole. What we have got to focus on is supporting Ukraine and giving Volodymyr Zelensky the tools he needs to finish the job.

“They can win and they will win. We’ve got to keep going. Give them the tanks. There’s absolutely nothing to be lost.”

Mr Johnson’s “fat boy” description of Putin was a reference to a character called Joe in Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers who tells an old lady “I wants to make your flesh creep”.

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