Conservative MP Johnny Mercer, the former veterans minister, said he landed back on Wednesday after he boarded a flight to Krakow, Poland “a week ago”. Tweeting photographs of his visit to a hospital in the country, the Plymouth Moor View MP said he had seen “incredible human spirit” from the defending people.
The 40-year-old told The Times: “I didn’t tell anyone, I just disappeared. I decided it was the right thing to do.”
Writing in the Telegraph, he told the publication he went to Lviv and Kyiv after receiving an invitation from a former MP in the Donetsk region against Government advice to travel to the country.
The trip marks the first time a British MP has visited Kyiv since the outbreak of the war.
However, another Tory MP, Adam Holloway, also travelled to the country just days prior to Mr Mercer’s visit.
Downing Street criticised the MP against Government advice with an official spokesman for the Prime Minister, saying the advice not to travel to the war-torn country “applies to everyone”.
Mr Mercer detailed how Lviv seemed “oddly normal” despite the conflict before boarding a train to the capital.
He wrote: “Once in Kyiv, we used local fixers to get around, meeting civic leaders and parliamentarians doing humanitarian work, and visiting wounded veterans in various hospitals.
“We travelled to the front lines too, where regular automatic fire and shelling rumbled on for most of the day.”
READ MORE: Putin’s health unintentionally becomes focus of rally ‘Frail’
Mr Mercer concluded by stating lethal aid should be redoubled and claimed the Ukrainians must win this war.
He said: “I plead guilty to the charge of overplaced optimism, perhaps.
“But we must win this war. And the UK must do everything in its power to ensure that outcome.”