Boris Johnson invokes Churchill with speech on Ukraine’s ‘finest hour’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson channeled one of his famous predecessors, Winston Churchill, in a speech about Ukraine’s defense against Russian invaders.
He invoked one of Churchill’s most well-known addresses during World War II while speaking to Ukraine’s parliament Tuesday, serving up a display of defiance against the war brought by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You have exploded the myth of Putin’s invincibility, and you have written one of the most glorious chapters in military history and in the life of your country,” Johnson said in a video streamed to the legislature, the New York Times reported. “The so-called irresistible force of Putin’s war machine has broken on the immovable object of Ukrainian patriotism and love of country. This is Ukraine’s finest hour that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come.”
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Churchill delivered his “finest hour” speech to the British House of Commons in 1940 as Nazi Germany and the Axis powers waged war in Western Europe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also referenced Churchill during his own speech in March.
“We will not surrender, we will not lose, we will go to the end,” Zelensky said, referencing another speech Churchill gave in 1940. “We will fight at sea, we will fight in the air, we will protect our land — we will fight everywhere … and we will not surrender.”
The United Kingdom is one of the Western nations that has rallied to aid Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, which began in late February. Johnson visited Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, last month, and he walked with Zelensky on the streets in a surprise visit.
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During his speech, Johnson pledged that the U.K. would provide more weapons to Ukraine. President Joe Biden requested last week that Congress approve an additional $33 billion in humanitarian aid and weapons for Ukraine.