Boris Johnson has addressed a message directly to the people of Russia, saying in Russian: “I do not believe this war is in your name.”
In a video posted on social media, the Prime Minister also spoke Ukrainian after urging an end to the conflict “because the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine”.
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He said: “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’s a generation or more since we witnessed such bloodshed in Europe. We hoped we would never have to see such sights again.”
To the people of Ukraine: Slava Ukraini.
To the people of Russia: I do not believe this war is in your name.
This crisis, this tragedy, can and must come to an end. Because the world needs a free and sovereign Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ijbAAb8G67
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 25, 2022
Mr Johnson continued: “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.”
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The Prime Minister went on to say: “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 Russian soldiers who will never see their families again.”