Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Johnson vows Ukraine will get what it needs to stop another Russian attack

Boris Johnson meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/PA)
Boris Johnson meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/PA)

Boris Johnson has said the West will supply Ukraine with the equipment it needs to ensure it can never again be invaded by Russia after holding surprise talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

Following the Prime Minister’s unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital, Downing Street said Britain would be sending 120 armoured vehicles as well as new anti-ship missile systems.

Appearing alongside Mr Zelensky in a recorded broadcast clip, Mr Johnson said the West would continue to “ratchet up” sanctions on Moscow as he praised the courage of the Ukrainian resistance.

“I think that the Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion, and you Volodymyr have given the roar of that lion,” he said.

“The UK and others (will) supply the equipment, the technology, the know-how, the intelligence, so that Ukraine will never be invaded again.

“So Ukraine is so fortified and protected – that Ukraine can never be bullied again. Never be blackmailed again. Never be threatened in the same way again.”

The latest support package represents a significant stepping up of UK military assistance to Ukraine.

It comes just a day after Mr Johnson announced a further £100 million worth of kit for Kyiv, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry and so-called “suicide drones”, which loiter over the battlefield before attacking their target.

The inclusion of the anti-ship missile systems came as British military intelligence said Russian naval forces were continuing to launch cruise missile strikes in support of ground operations in the region.

It follows an urgent appeal by the Ukrainians for more weapons – including armoured vehicles – ahead of an expected Russian offensive on the eastern Donbas region, already part held by pro-Moscow separatists.

Mr Johnson said that while Russian forces attacking Kyiv had suffered a defeat, their withdrawal was “tactical” as they prepared to refocus their military efforts on the east.

He strongly condemned the “war crimes” being uncovered in the wake of their departure, with scores bodies of civilians who have been shot and killed being reported by the Ukrainian authorities.

“I think what Putin has done in places like Bucha and Irpin, his war crimes have permanently polluted his reputation and the reputation of his government,” he said.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the retreating Russian troops had left behind evidence of the “disproportionate targeting of non-combatants”.

In its latest intelligence assessment, it said this included “the presence of mass graves, the fatal use of hostages as human shields, and mining of civilian infrastructure”.

Mr Zelensky welcomed the UK’s “decisive and significant support” for his country as he urged other Western allies to intensify the pressure on Moscow.

“We have to exert pressure in the form of sanctions. It is time to impose a complete embargo on Russian energy resources. They should increase the amount of weapons being supplied,” he said.

A Mastiff 2 armoured patrol vehicle
Britain could supply Mastiff armoured patrol vehicles (MoD/Crown Copyright/PA)

As well as the additional equipment Mr Johnson also confirmed further economic support, guaranteeing an additional 500 million dollars (£385 million) in World Bank lending to Ukraine, taking total UK loan guarantees to one billion dollars (£770 million).

There were no immediate details of the armoured vehicles being sent, although Defence Secretary Ben Wallace indicated during a visit to Romania on Friday that they would be Mastiff six-wheel-drive patrol vehicles.

According to an intelligence assessment by the UK Ministry of Defence, Russian forces were continuing to hit non-military targets like the train station at Kramatorsk.

At least 52 people died and many more were injured when a missile struck the station which was packed with thousands of women and children seeking to flee westwards ahead of the Russian advance.

POLITICS Ukraine
(PA Graphics)

In his nightly video address, Mr Zelensky called on the international community to hold to account the Russian forces responsible.

“All world efforts will be directed to establish every minute of who did what, who gave what orders, where the missile came from, who transported it, who gave the command and how this strike was agreed,” he said.

The Kremlin has denied responsibility for the attack, however Western officials believe it was probably a Russian Tochka-U missile, which Nato refers to as a SS-21, which was fired indiscriminately towards the town centre.

The Ukrainian authorities continued to urge civilians in the east to leave as Russian forces re-group following their withdrawal from the areas around Kyiv in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Ten evacuation corridors were planned for Saturday in the hope of allowing residents to leave war zones in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which comprise the Donbas, as well as neighbouring Zaporizhzhia.

Meanwhile Downing Street declined to discuss details of Mr Johnson’s travel to Kyiv, citing security reasons.

His visit however coincided with the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who also held talks with Mr Zelensky, while European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen was in the city on Friday.

Last month, the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia visited Kyiv in a show of support for the Ukrainians.