Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s message to the people of Ukraine and Russia.
Below is a transcript of the speech, as it was delivered:
The scenes unfolding in the streets and fields of Ukraine are nothing short of a tragedy.
Brave young soldiers and innocent civilians are being cut down, tanks are rumbling through towns and cities, missiles raining indiscriminately from the skies.
It is a generation or more since we witnessed such bloodshed in Europe.
We hoped we would never have to see such sights again.
The people of the United Kingdom stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in the face of this unjustifiable assault on your homeland.
We salute the fierce bravery and patriotism of your government, your military and your people. I am in close contact with President Zelenskyy
And as Prime Minister I speak for us all in the United Kingdom when I once again say Slava Ukraini.
This is a tragedy for Ukraine.
And so too is it a tragedy for Russia.
Like Ukraine, Russia is a great country with a rich history and a proud people.
Like Ukraine, Russia’s poets and artists and authors have shaped our culture, and Russia’s soldiers fought so bravely with us in the struggle against fascism.
But Putin’s actions are leading to complete isolation for Russia.
Shunned by the rest of the international community
Hit by immense economic sanctions.
And facing a needless and bloody war that is already costing countless lives, from innocent Ukrainians to your Russians soldiers who will never see their families again.
And to my Russian friends:
[In Russian] I do not believe this war is in your name.
It does not have to be this way.
This crisis, this tragedy can and must come to an end.
Because the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine.
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