Zelensky praised Britain and Boris Johnson specifically for helping to ‘defend European freedom’ as he live-streamed his nightly address to both the Ukrainian people and a charity dinner in London.
‘If everyone in the world… were steadfast and courageous leaders like Ukraine, like Britain, I am sure we would have already ended this war and restored peace throughout our liberated territory, for all our people,’ he said.
It comes after Boris Johnson twice visited Kyiv – including once since the Russian invasion – to pledge support for Zelensky’s government, and made an historic video address to the country’s parliament earlier this week.
The British Prime Minister also addressed Kyiv’s parliament on Tuesday, during which he announced a new £300million package of military support to the country – to a succession of standing ovations.
In an address on Thursday evening, Zelensky praised Britain and Boris Johnson specifically for helping to ‘defend European freedom’. Pictured: Mr Johnson visits Kyiv and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on April 9
‘Unbreakable people of the bravest country!’ the president said speaking through a translator to Britain’s Chatham House think tank, before going on to describe the dire situation in his country under Russian invasion.
‘Russian troops today, as every day during this war, have continued to bomb our cities and our people,’ Zelensky said.
For example, my traditional morning meeting with the military was the leadership of the army, with government officials and diplomats was accompanied by the sound of an air raid sirens. This is our reality.
‘Missile strikes every day. The day before yesterday, on the day when you, Boris, addressed parliament, addressed our parliament, the Russian army launched 15 missile strikes at Ukraine.
The embattled leader said that the Russian strikes during Mr Johnson’s speech were a sign that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was not happy with the relationship between Ukraine and the UK.
‘This can be called a certain “Russian compliment” to your brilliant speech and our fruitful interstate cooperation,’ Zelensky said.
‘Because yesterday there were only 7 such strikes. Obviously, Russia is annoyed by our proximity, Ukraine and Britain. So this means that we are really strong in defending freedom in Europe.’
He said since the start of the war, more than 2,000 Russian missile have been launched at Ukraine, and that there have been more than 2,600 reports of Russian fighter jets sighted in the country’s skies.
‘Each of these “arrivals” is the death of our people, the destruction of our infrastructure,’ he said, before describing how the Russian occupation in the east of the country has meant that medical supplies have not been able to reach people.
Cancer patients have not been able to receive treatment, people have not been able to undergo surgeries and diabetics cannot get insulin, he said.