Rishi Sunak makes surprise visit to Kiev to ‘confirm UK support’

“Since the first days of the war, Ukraine and Great Britain have been the strongest allies,” Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram, posting a video of his meeting with Rishi Sunak in Kiev.

“I am here today to say that Britain will continue to support you,” Rishi Sunak told President Zelensky in a video released by the Ukrainian presidency. “We will stay with you until Ukraine has won the peace and security it needs and deserves.”

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War in Ukraine: Russia is a “rogue state”, says Rishi Sunak

On the plane that took him to the G20 in Bali, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke about Vladimir Putin’s non-participation in this summit. He is also expected to confront Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over the ‘illegal’ invasion of Ukraine.


“It is a great lesson in humility to be with you in your country today,” he also said. “The courage of the Ukrainian people is an inspiration to the world.” “We will tell our grandchildren your story, how a proud and sovereign people stood up against a terrible attack, how you fought, how you sacrificed, how you won”, remarked Rishi Sunak.

In London, Downing Street pointed out that the Prime Minister had traveled to Kiev to “confirm Britain’s support” for Ukraine. “The Prime Minister is in Ukraine today on her first visit to Kiev to meet President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and confirm the UK’s continued support,” Downing Street said.

Britain “knows what it means to fight for freedom,” Rishi Sunak also tweeted. “We are with you all the way”.

Help civilians

Rishi Sunak also announced new military aid of 50 million pounds (57.4 million euros), including anti-aircraft guns, radars and anti-drone equipment. He also announced humanitarian aid of 16 million pounds (18.3 million euros).

The Ukrainian Presidency announced that Andriï Yermak, Chief of Staff to Volodymyr Zelensky, had met with Isabelle Dumont, Adviser to the French Presidency, in particular to discuss preparations for the conference scheduled for Paris on 13 December on reconstruction and assistance to Ukrainian civilians , facing the beginning. of the winter.

On Friday, Kiev called for “further support” from the EU to get through the winter, as nearly half of its energy infrastructure has been “disabled” by massive Russian strikes since early October. Spain announced on Saturday the dispatch of 14 new electric generators, added to the five announced on October 19, as well as 30 additional ambulances and police reinforcements to help authorities investigate possible war crimes.

Many Ukrainians face the start of winter with little or no electricity and no hot water as the first snowfall of the winter fell across the country on Thursday, after more than a month and a half of bombardment of the country’s power grid.

Moscow blames the blackouts and their impact on civilians on Kiev’s refusal to negotiate over Russian missile strikes. kyiv counters that Moscow is not really interested in peace talks and suggested on Friday night that the Kremlin “is now looking for a short truce, a breathing space to regain strength”.

1991 limits

“Peace will come only after we destroy the Russian army in Ukraine and reach the 1991 borders,” Andrii Yermak said Saturday. “Only then will peace be possible.”

The 1991 borders are the borders of independent Ukraine at the fall of the Soviet Union, which includes Crimea.

For their part, Asia-Pacific leaders said they “mostly” condemned the war in Ukraine, in the final statement of the APEC summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, echoing the G20 summit in Indonesia earlier on the week.

Since the start of the war, 437 children have been killed in Ukraine and more than 837 injured, Ukrainian authorities said Saturday. The UN released a report this week that prisoners of war on both sides had been subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

On Saturday, the Ukrainian army said it verified the authenticity of videos that Moscow said proved Kiev executed more than ten Russian soldiers who had surrendered.

Russia accused Ukraine of committing a “war crime” on Friday, a day after Ukrainian accusations of large-scale torture by Russian forces in Kherson. The UN said it is reviewing these videos.

After the Ukrainian army’s recapture of part of the Kherson region last week, the lines are finally moving south.

Well behind the front, on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, the Russian army is carrying out fortification work: it is a matter of “guaranteeing the security of the Crimeans”, assured Sergueï Aksionov, governor appointed by Moscow.

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