World needs free, sovereign Ukraine, UK's Johnson tells Russians

The Prime Minister addressed the people of the two countries directly in a two-minute video

By Prasun Sonwalkar

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Published: Sat 26 Feb 2022, 4:50 PM

London: Addressing the Russian people directly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he did not believe that the current invasion of Ukraine "is in your name", adding that the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine.

Reiterating Britain's serious concerns over developments in Ukraine, Johnson addressed the people in Russia and Ukraine in a two-minute video, speaking a couple of sentences in the Russian language, recalling how Russian poets, authors and artists "have shaped our culture".

He said: "The scenes unfolding in the streets and fields of Ukraine are nothing short of a tragedy. Brave young soldiers and innocent civilians are being cut down. Tanks are rumbling through towns and cities, missiles raining indiscriminately from the skies. It's a generation or more since we witnessed such bloodshed in Europe".

"We hoped we would never have to see such sights again. The people of the United Kingdom stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in the face of this unjustifiable assault on your homeland. We salute the fierce bravery and patriotism of your government, your military and your people".


Johnson said he was in close contact with President Zelenskyy, adding that he spoke for all in the United Kingdom when he says 'Slava Ukraini' (Glory to Ukraine).

Addressing Russians, he recalled cultural and political history that binds Russia and Europe, and said: "This is a tragedy for Ukraine and so too, it is a tragedy for Russia. Like Ukraine, Russia is a great country with a rich history and a proud people. Like Ukraine, Russia's poets and artists and authors have shaped our culture and Russia's soldiers fought so bravely with us in the struggle against fascism".

"But Putin's actions are leading to complete isolation for Russia, shunned by the rest of the international community, hit by immense economic sanctions and facing a needless and bloody war that is already costing countless lives, from innocent Ukrainians to your Russian soldiers who will never see their families again".

"And to my Russian friends, I do not believe this war is in your name. This crisis, this tragedy can and must come to an end, because the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine. Slava Ukraini".

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