PM: Turn back your tanks and take the path to peace

The PM, speaking in Poland, insisted the Russian tyrant’s war machine will never fully conquer Ukraine. It came as the Government pledged £80million more in aid for the nation.Mr Johnson said: “I will not waver in my conviction that, however long it takes, a ­sovereign and independent Ukraine will emerge once again. “Putin has stubbed his toe and tripped ­on a giant and immovable fact, which is no matter how many troops and tanks he sends, the Ukrainians’ desire to live in freedom in an independent country.”

The PM insisted the UK will always give Ukraine “wholehearted support” in its quest for independence.

He added: “In the face of that fact and the unquenchable and manifest will of the Ukrainians to resist and in the face of this gathering tragedy, I say to Vladimir Putin and his regime, there is only one way out of this morass and that is to…turn back the tanks on their way to Kyiv and take the path of peace.”

Mr Johnson held talks with Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki as he toured Eastern European allies, including Estonia.

He warned Putin was “tearing up every principle of civilised behaviour between states”.

“He has hurled his war machine on the people of Ukraine, a fellow Slavic country; he has bombarded civilian targets and fired rockets at blocks of flats. He is responsible for hundreds of civilian casualties, including growing numbers of children and also for the deaths of many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.

“We must accept the grim reality that Putin will continue to tighten the vice. The odds have always been heavily against Ukraine’s armed forces.”

He called the invasion a “tragedy” and a “colossal mistake” by the Russian despot.

The PM also saluted the courage of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. He said he marvelled “at his coolness under fire, his bravery and his invincible good humour”.

He added: “Putin will ultimately fail in Ukraine and Putin must fail in Ukraine.” Yesterday’s Government pledge of a further £80million in aid for Ukraine takes the UK’s overall aid package during the current crisis to £220million.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain had a “moral duty” to support the embattled nation. She said: “Our message to the Ukrainian people is simple: we will help you and stand with you in the fight for the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, Prince Charles added his voice to condemnation of the Russian onslaught. He warned freedom is under attack “in the most unconscionable way”.

And he promised “solidarity” with all those “resisting brutal aggression”. The Prince – who once reportedly likened Putin to Adolf Hitler as he talked about Russia’s annexation of Crimea – yesterday became the most senior member of the Royal Family to speak out in support of Kyiv.

At the ceremony marking Southend becoming a city, Charles paid tribute to murdered MP Sir David Amess, and spoke of the “precious” values at stake when “the appalling suffering and devastation” ­of violence is chosen.

He said: “What we saw in the terrible ­tragedy in Southend was an attack on democracy on open society, on freedom itself. We are seeing those same values under attack today in Ukraine. In the stand we take here, we are in solidarity with all those who are resisting brutal aggression.”

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