Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Sunday, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and pledged that Britain would “support Ukraine As long as necessary.”
Johnson, who resigned in September in the wake of a series of scandals, was prime minister when Russia invaded Ukraine in February and sought to make London Kiev’s biggest ally in the West.
During this tour, Johnson visited Borodyanka and Bucha, suburbs of the Ukrainian capital that are exemplary of atrocities in the West when Russian forces pushed toward Kyiv in the first phase of the invasion before being repulsed.
“I can tell you the UK will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Johnson told Governor Bucha.
Boris Johnson training with the Ukrainian military
“You will win and you will expel all the Russians from your country, but we will be there for a long time. We will also want your help in reconstruction,” he added, speaking through an interpreter.
Johnson denied suggestions his moves in Ukraine might be seen as weakening British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
During his tenure, Johnson visited Kyiv several times and kept in touch with Zelensky.
While embroiled in scandals in Britain, Johnson gained immense popularity in Ukraine, where he became known as “Boris Johnsonyuk”. Cafes put his name on cakes in Kyiv and his image was painted on street boards and on walls.