Boris Johnson visits Kyiv on Ukraine’s Independence Day
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Mr Johnson arrived to a warm welcome this afternoon as he appeared in central Kyiv and toured with Mr Zelensky. But the visit comes as the Prime Minister faces increasing criticism about how he spends his final days in office, with accusations he has presided over a “zombie” Government. Many Britons will have wondered why their leader has decided to spend most of his last days in office abroad as they struggle through a mounting cost-of-living crisis.
Why is Boris Johnson in Ukraine?
Mr Johnson’s visit to Ukraine will be his third and last as Prime Minister since Russia first invaded in February.
He arrived this afternoon to mark the country’s Independence Day, which sees locals celebrate the 1991 Declaration of Independence annually on August 24.
The Prime Minister also met with President Zelensky as he extended the UK’s financial support with a new multi-million-pound package.
The UK Government has announced it will provide another £54million for Ukraine to shore up its defence against Russia.
The package includes a team of 850 “Black Hornet” micro-drones that assist troops with situational awareness.
And it includes passive aerial “loitering” munition systems that lurk in target areas and attack opposing forces while they travel through.
The additional £54million will bring the total funds committed to Ukraine by the UK to £2.3billion.
The new deal will also provide the country with mine hunting vehicles to detect Russian mines, while officials will continue to train local troops.
Speaking from Kyiv, Mr Johnson pledged the UK’s enduring support, stating what happens in Ukraine “matters to us all”.
He added: “I am here today to deliver the message that the United Kingdom is with you and will be with you for the days and months ahead, and you can and will win”.
Mr Johnson’s warm reception in Ukraine provides a stark comparison to his public image at home in the UK, where he is increasingly unpopular.
While beneficial for Ukrainians, the trip to Kyiv is the Prime Minister’s third within a month, following holidays to Serbia and Greece.
He has been absent during a turbulent time for regular Britons, as inflation and energy costs push up the cost of living.
Mr Johnson is using the last few days of his premiership to take advantage of benefits afforded to him while his Government is yet to produce or implement a plan to bring living costs down.
He is rumoured to have moved out of Number 10 and is spending his last days working from the Prime Minister’s grace-and-favour Chequers mansion.
Moving trucks have appeared at Number 11 – where Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie have lived since 2019 – over the last few weeks.
The couple will reportedly move to southeast London after they put their Camberwell townhouse up for sale earlier this week.
According to The Sun, they want £1.6million for the property and hope to move to an upscale neighbourhood in Dulwich Village.
The paper said they wish to move to a home worth £3million with a garden for their two children, Wilfred, two, and eight-month-old Romy.
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