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Top Zelensky aide hails Boris as 'first leader to face Kyiv rocket fire' as PM steps down


Mykhailo Podolyak hailed Boris Johnson as “a person who began to call a spade a spade from the beginning” of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. He said Mr Johnson had realised “the threat of Russian monster and always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine”. 

He was speaking after Mr Johnson revealed he will step down as Tory leader and Prime Minister.

Mr Podolyak tweeted: “To be a leader – to call Russian evil an evil and to take responsibility in the hardest times. To be a leader – to be the first to arrive in Kyiv, despite missile attacks.

“Thanks Boris Johnson for realising the threat of Russian monster and always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine.”

In a video posted with the tweet, he spoke to the camera and added: “Today we have everything we need for the effective defence of the country: weapons, partnership and coalition, and thanks to Mr Johnson, we understand that victory is a real symbol of the future in Ukraine … we are extremely grateful to our partners, Mr Johnson, for the opportunity to do our work effectively.”

During his resignation speech outside Downing Street, Mr Johnson said his handling of the Russia war in Ukraine was an achievement he was “immensely proud” of. 

Speaking directly to the people of Ukraine, he vowed the UK would “continue to back your right for freedom”. 

He said: “I’m immensely proud of the achievements of this government: from getting Brexit done to settling our relations with the continent for over half a century, reclaiming the power for this country to make its own laws in parliament, getting us all through the pandemic, delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown, and in the last few months, leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

“And let me say now, to the people of Ukraine, that I know that we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.

During his tenure, Mr Johnson has been praised for his continued support for Ukraine as it fights back against Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, Mr Johnson painted himself as a war-time leader, dismissing scandals as distractions blown out of proportion by his foes. He was one of the first Western leaders to visit President Zelensky in Kyiv.

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