Ukrainians 'support' Boris Johnson says MP Lesia Vasylenko
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Ukraine’s MP Lesia Vasylenko has expressed the Ukrainians’ puzzlement at Monday’s no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Boris Johnson. As the UK has stepped up its arms deliveries to Ukraine, there is a growing consensus among Ukrainians that Mr Johnson should be praised for his intervention, Ms Vasylenko said. She observed Ukrainian social media users applauding Mr Johnson for surviving the Conservative rebels’ coup.
Speaking to Times Radio, she explained why Ukrainians rallied behind Mr Johnson: “The stuff about Partygate and the situation with Covid has not been centre stage here and hardly anyone actually understands why anyone would want to remove him.
“And yesterday, the Ukrainians’ social media were probably one the first who started to react to the results of the vote.
“And I haven’t seen so many congratulations. I mean, this was the topic that took many Ukrainians away from commenting on the war.
“I opened my Facebook feed; I opened my Twitter feed and all the Ukrainians were saying was congratulations to Boris Johnson.”
When asked whether she thinks Ukrainians are pleased he still is prime minister, Ms Vasylenko said: “Absolutely.
“The thing is, for Ukrainians, as you can imagine, in the last 100-plus days, the main topic is, how do we survive this war and how do we make the country survive this war.
“And whoever helps us is our friend and will be getting the Ukrainians’ support.
“With the way that Boris Johnson has been reacting to many different situations in Ukraine sending the weapons in, providing the financial aid. Of course, the people of Ukraine are going to be supporting Boris Johnson.”
On the significance of Boris Johnson’s personal intervention in the Ukraine-Russia war, she said: “The UK has really stepped up the game of international politics and international security during the period of Boris Johnson’s leadership.
“And the support is very much felt here in Ukraine. He was one of the first leaders – actually, I think, the first leader of a state so to speak – who stepped on the street of wartime Kyiv, who did it openly without any fears of reluctance.”
In April, Mr Johnson made a visit to the capital Kyiv where he walked alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a show of solidarity and “unwavering support”.
The UK was one of the first countries to provide weapons to support Ukraine in its defence against Russian forces. In early May, Boris Johnson became the first Western leader to address Ukraine’s parliament since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February.
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At a virtual conference hosted by the Financial Times, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined Ukrainians in congratulating Mr Johnson on his narrow victory in Parliament last night, saying: “I’m glad we haven’t lost an important ally, this is great news.”
Mr Johnson repeatedly tried to rally his MP ahead of the vote, citing the wrong timing for “unforced domestic political drama” amid the Ukraine war.
While Mr Johnson described the backing of 211 MPs as “extremely good, positive, conclusive”, the Prime Minister will now have to push his political agenda with a divided Conservative party – 41 percent of Tory MPs voted to oust him.
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