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Prime Minister to address Ukrainian Parliament

Boris Johnson will hail Ukrainians’ resistance to the brutal Russian invasion, telling them it’s their country’s “finest hour” in an address to parliament in kyiv.

In a video-linked speech to the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, the prime minister will echo Winston Churchill’s words as he outlines a new £300million support package for Ukraine’s military.

Downing Street said it would include electronic warfare equipment, a counter-battery radar system, GPS jamming equipment and thousands of night vision devices, as the Russian offensive in the Donbass region continues .

This follows Mr Johnson’s unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital last month in a show of support and solidarity with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“When my country was threatened with invasion in the Second World War, our Parliament, like yours, continued to meet throughout the conflict, and the British people showed such unity and such determination that we remember our time of greatest peril as our finest hour,” Mr. Johnson should say.

“This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national history that will be remembered and remembered 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.”

In 1940, after the fall of France, Mr Churchill sought to rally Britain to resist the Nazis – telling the country it would be remembered as their “finest hour”.

When addressing Britain’s Parliament in March, Mr Zelensky referred to another of Mr Churchill’s wartime speeches, saying: ‘We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets “.

The latest military support package comes after ministers briefed parliament last week on plans to send sophisticated long-range Brimstone missiles and Stormer air defense vehicles.

In addition, the UK is to provide heavy lift aerial drones to provide logistical support to Ukrainian forces who have isolated themselves.

Downing Street said it was also sending more than a dozen new specialist Toyota Land Cruisers to protect civilian officials in eastern Ukraine and to evacuate civilians from frontline areas, following a request of the Ukrainian government.

It comes as a senior US official has warned that Russia plans to annex large parts of eastern Ukraine and recognize the southern city of Kherson as an independent republic.

Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the suspicious plan was “straight out of the Kremlin’s playbook”.

He said the US and other allies had information that Moscow was planning ‘fake referendums’ in the breakaway ‘people’s republics’ of Donetsk and Lugansk in a bid to add ‘a veneer of democratic or electoral legitimacy’ .

“Such sham referendums, fabricated votes will not be considered legitimate, nor will any attempt to annex additional Ukrainian territory,” he said.


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