UK’s Johnson is rubbing salt into Putin’s wounds, says former Polish ambassador to Ukraine

Boris Johnson’s walkabout in Kyiv while Putin is hiding in some bunker was effectively “rubbing salt into the Russian dictator’s wounds,” argues former Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Piekło

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Polskie Radio 24
In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center left, walk in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was welcomed warmly by Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday with Andrij Sybiha, a senior aide to the Ukrainian president, hailing Johnson as “the leader of the coalition for winning the war and for imposing sanctions on Russia.”

Former Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Piekło argued that the visit by Johnson was a visible taunt to Putin, showing how a city recently besieged by Russia was now able to host the U.K. prime minister on its streets.

In contrast, Putin having to resort to hiding in a bunker somewhere beyond the Urals, is nothing short of a humiliation for the Russian president, said PIeklo.

It was effectively like “rubbing salt into the Russian dictator’s wounds,” he added.

In his opinion, the most important support for Ukraine was intelligence information which allowed the Ukrainians to stay one step ahead of the Russians.

He questioned the wisdom of talking about concrete weapon systems being provided for Ukraine, insisting there was a need for discretion on those matters. He explained that it was likely accurate information was not being provided in order to keep the enemy guessing. 

Following Johnson’s visit to Kyiv, the U.K. prime minister’s office said in a statement that Britain would send 120 armored vehicles and anti-ship missile systems to support Ukraine.

“We are stepping up our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end, and ensure Ukraine survives and thrives as a free and sovereign nation.”

Johnson also confirmed further economic support, taking the U.K.’s total loan guarantees to £770 million (€919 million).

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