Johnson visits Kyiv to offer troop training to ‘change equation’ against Russia

The Prime Minister’s visit was arranged in secret.

17 June 2022

Boris Johnson has made a surprise visit to Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv to offer a major training operation he believes could “change the equation” against the Russian invasion.

The Prime Minister visited the Ukrainian capital on Friday to offer training to up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days, as he vowed “we will be with you until you ultimately prevail”.

Downing Street said the British-led scheme would train and drill Ukrainian troops to accelerate their deployment, rebuild their forces and increase their resistance.

Arranged in secret, it was Mr Johnson’s second visit to Kyiv since Russian President Vladimir Putin began his offensive in February.

“My visit today, in the depths of this war, is to send a clear and simple message to the Ukrainian people: the UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.

“As Ukrainian soldiers fire UK missiles in defence of your nation’s sovereignty, they do so also in defence of the very freedoms we take for granted.

“That is why I have offered President Zelensky a major new military training programme that could change the equation of this war –harnessing that most powerful of forces, the Ukrainian determination to win.

“Two months on from my last visit, the Ukrainian grit, determination and resilience is stronger than ever, and I know that unbreakable resolve will long outlive the vain ambitions of President Putin.”

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