Boris Johnson has drawn up a six-point plan to defeat Vladimir Putin as he moves to assume leadership of global efforts to end the horror of war in Ukraine.
The Russian President faced an unprecedented wave of international fury yesterday for offering safe passage to Ukrainian refugees – only to bombard them with artillery as they fled.
The Prime Minister led the condemnation of Russia and said the world must unite under his plan to thwart the aggression.
In his action plan, Mr Johnson called for: the creation of an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine; a boost to Kyiv’s military self-defence; a ratcheting up of sanctions on Moscow; concerted diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis; and ‘a rapid campaign to strengthen security and resilience across the Euro-Atlantic area’.
In addition, Mr Johnson wants to combat ‘the creeping normalisation of what Russia is doing in Ukraine’ as he fears that the shock value of Putin’s actions will start to fade.
Boris Johnson has drawn up a six-point plan to defeat Vladimir Putin as he moves to assume leadership of global efforts to end the horror of war in Ukraine
The Russian President faced an unprecedented wave of international fury yesterday for offering safe passage to Ukrainian refugees – only to bombard them with artillery as they fled
A mass evacuation of more than 200,000 civilian refugees from the encircled cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha was derailed yesterday morning when Russian forces ignored a promised ceasefire and continued artillery attacks. Pictured: Shelling has destroyed homes in the village of Markhalivka
In the space of a fortnight, Mr Johnson has transformed from beleaguered leader, assailed by endless allegations about lockdown parties, to burgeoning international statesman – defusing the pressure from rebel backbenchers for a leadership challenge.
Even previously sceptical Tory MPs have speculated that the crisis could prove to be Mr Johnson’s ‘Falklands moment’ – a reference to the 1982 war which transformed Margaret Thatcher’s political fortunes.
The analogy is enhanced by the fact Mr Johnson has moved his daily 8.30am briefing from his No 10 study to Thatcher’s old office on the floor above.
It means that Mr Johnson and his inner circle of six key advisers are dissecting the conflict under the steely painted gaze of the Iron Lady.
The war has also pleased many of Mr Johnson’s aides by pushing to the margins issues such as the ‘woke agenda’ which, in the words of one source, ‘are now realised to be as trivial as they always were’.
Mr Johnson will cement his place at the centre of the international diplomatic effort this week with a series of Downing Street meetings.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be welcomed to No 10 tomorrow, followed by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – the countries on the front line of the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict.
The Prime Minister said yesterday: ‘Putin must fail and must be seen to fail in this act of aggression.
‘It is not enough to express our support for the rules-based international order – we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by military force. The world is watching. It is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge’.
In other developments in the conflict yesterday:
- Moscow threatened to hit Britain with ‘tough retaliatory measures’ in response to the swingeing economic sanctions and boycotts imposed on Russia – which Putin likened to a ‘declaration of war’;
- The Russian leader warned the West that implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would have ‘colossal and catastrophic consequences’;
- Russia experienced its worst day in the skies with dramatic footage emerging of an attack helicopter being brought down and Ukrainian sources claiming that eight enemy aircraft had been destroyed, including fighter jets;
- The world was shocked by deeply distressing images of a mother cradling the lifeless body of her 18-month-old boy who was killed in an artillery strike on Friday;
- Russia appeared to be using bases in Belarus to launch long-range missiles into Ukraine for the first time;
- The total raised by the Mail Force Ukraine Appeal hit a record £3.6 million, with the charity making a £250,000 donation to Unicef;
- Some 2,000 civilians stood up to Russian troops occupying the city of Kherson, marching through the streets and shouting: ‘Russians go home’;
- Demonstrations against Russia’s invasion were held in cities across the world, including London, Manchester and Bath;
- Boris Johnson praised the bravery of a team of Sky journalists who were shot and injured in an ambush by a Russian ‘assassination squad’;
- Ukraine’s defiant President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed his forces have killed around 10,000 Russian troops – far more than the 498 Moscow concedes that it has lost’
- Mr Zelensky attacked Nato leaders for refusing to impose a no-fly zone, claiming the West had given Russia a ‘green light’ to continue its blitz of towns and cities;
- The Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for Ukraine raised £85 million in two days, including donations from the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.
A mass evacuation of more than 200,000 civilian refugees from the encircled cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha was derailed yesterday morning when Russian forces ignored a promised ceasefire and continued artillery attacks.
The Russian defence ministry claimed that its units were opening humanitarian corridors near the two cities for a period of five hours to allow families to flee.
Ukrainian authorities, however, announced that both evacuations had to be called off because Russian forces had continued to pound the cities.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace last night led the worldwide condemnation, saying: ‘Russian generals have sunk to a new low.
‘The world can see them for what they are. Shelling civilians is not the mark of a real soldier but a coward.’
Richard Dannatt, a former head of the British Army, accused Vladimir Putin of ‘war crimes’.
‘Having agreed upon a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor and then violating it, it shows what a dishonourable individual Putin is,’ he added.
The money raised by the Mail Force charity – in record-breaking time – has already been put to good use, with mothers and children arriving over the border to Slovakia yesterday greeted by aid workers funded by our generous readers
The UK has played a central role in the international community’s effort against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including coordinating a 38-country referral to the International Criminal Court to ensure Putin will be held to account for his crimes.
British courts are also expected to be given new powers to strike out vexatious claims by oligarchs trying to muzzle journalists under plans being considered by Ministers. MPs are this week tabling an amendment to the Economic Crime Bill to give courts the powers to strike out ‘strategic lawsuits’ used by the super-rich to stifle critics.
Tory MP Jonathan Gullis said: ‘The Prime Minister is showing leadership on the international stage. History will look back at this as his Falklands moment.’
The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL
Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.
Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.
For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.
As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.
All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.
In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.
TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE
Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate
To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine
Via bank transfer, please use these details:
Account name: Mail Force Charity
Account number: 48867365
Sort code: 60-00-01
TO MAKE A DONATION VIA CHEQUE
Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Force’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY
TO MAKE A DONATION FROM THE US
US readers can donate to the appeal via a bank transfer to Associated Newspapers or by sending checks to dailymail.com HQ at 51 Astor Place (9th floor), New York, NY 10003