UK most responsive to what we are asking for, says Ukrainian MP

Inna Sovsun, the deputy leader of the Holos Party, said her country needs weapons to remove Russia from its territory.

31 March 2022

A Ukrainian MP has said that the UK is “believed to be the best friend to Ukraine” currently.

Inna Sovsun, the deputy leader of the Holos Party, praised the UK for helping Ukraine with weapons.

Ms Sovsun, who is in Kyiv, added that despite Russia’s announcement on Tuesday that it would reduce military activity near the capital, she could hear explosions “literally every 30 seconds” that night.

“Right now (the) UK is believed to be the best friend to Ukraine,” she told the PA news agency.

“The UK is most responsive to what we are asking for.

“We are grateful for that, truly. We are getting weapons from other countries as well but I think the UK is probably the best in terms of helping us with weapons.

“Again, we still need more, we need anti-aircraft air defence system, long-range missiles, tanks… we are not asking for troops on the ground.

“Just give us the weapons so that we can kick them out of our territory and they don’t go further into western Europe.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said allies would strive to give Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky weapons “in the quantity and of the quality” he needs to defend his nation from the Russian invasion.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attendees applaud after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed them by video link during a meeting of the leaders of the the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a coalition of 10 states focused on security in northern Europe, at Lancaster House in London (Justin Tallis/PA)

Meanwhile UK defence intelligence analysts believe only a “limited number” of units have withdrawn from around Kyiv following Russia’s announcement at talks in Istanbul on Tuesday that it would reduce military activity near the capital and Chernihiv.

Russian forces have also continued shelling Chernihiv, a strategically important Ukrainian city, despite promises to scale back operations.

Ms Sovsun said that on Tuesday night “we were hearing explosions literally every 30 seconds”.

She added: “I went to sleep in my closet because that’s the room that doesn’t have any windows, and we were having air raid sirens constantly, so I just went to sleep in my closet which is ridiculous.

“I realise that maybe the majority of those explosions was the Ukrainian army fighting back against the Russians.

“But also many missiles were targeting the city and Kyiv air defence system was hitting down the Russian missiles targeting the city.

“As of right now we can differentiate between different sounds, be it the artillery or be it the air defence system putting down the Russian missiles. We heard both.

“So after that, anyone telling me this is de-escalation? Sorry, no.”

Ms Sovsun said that “the chances that talks will result in peace and security guarantees for Ukraine are minimal”, but said that they grow “with every single weapon that is being supplied to the Ukrainian army”.

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