Russia invades Ukraine: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s full statement to the nation | world news

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a statement to the nation after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Here it is in full:

Shortly after 4am this morning, I spoke to President Zelensky of Ukraine to offer him the UK’s continued support, as our worst fears have now come true and all of our warnings have proven tragically accurate.

Russian President Putin has unleashed war on our European continent. He attacked a friendly country without any provocation and without any credible excuse.

A map of Ukraine showing where there have been attacks

Countless missiles and bombs are raining down on an entirely innocent population.

A vast invasion is underway by land, sea and air.

Ukraine ‘attacked from Russia, Belarus and Crimea’ – latest live updates

And it is not, as the infamous phrase goes, “a distant land of which we know little”.

We have Ukrainian friends in this country, neighbors, colleagues.

Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom and democracy and the right to choose its own destiny.

We – and the world – cannot allow this freedom to be simply stifled. We cannot and will not simply look away.

It is because we have been so alarmed in recent months by Russian intimidation that the UK has become one of the first countries in Europe to send defensive weapons to help Ukrainians.

Other allies have now done the same and we will do all we can in the days ahead.

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Boris Johnson promises to hit Vladimir Putin with a “massive package” of economic sanctions aimed at “hindering” the Russian economy.

Today, together with our allies, we will agree to a massive set of economic sanctions designed in time to cripple the Russian economy.

And to that end, we must also collectively end the reliance on Russian oil and gas that for far too long has given Putin his grip on Western politics.

Our mission is clear. Diplomatically, politically, economically – and possibly militarily – this hideous and barbaric enterprise of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.

And so I say to the people of Russia, whose president has just authorized a tidal wave of violence against a fellow Slavic people.

To the relatives of Russian soldiers who will lose their lives.

I can’t believe this is done in your name or that you really want the pariah status this will bring to Putin’s regime.

And I say to the Ukrainians in this moment of agony, we are with you, we pray for you and your families and we stand by your side.

And if the coming months are dark and the flame of freedom goes out, I know that it will light up again in Ukraine, because despite all its bombs, tanks and missiles, I do not believe that the Russian dictator will one day master the national sentiment of Ukrainians and their passionate belief that their country should be free.

And I say to the British people and to all those who have heard Putin’s threats against those who support Ukraine, we will of course do everything to keep our country safe.

We are joined in our outrage by friends and allies around the world.

We will work with them – as long as it takes – to ensure the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, because this wanton and reckless act of aggression is not just an attack on Ukraine .

It is an attack on democracy and freedom in Eastern Europe and in the world.

This crisis is about the right of a free, sovereign and independent European people to choose their own future and it is a right that the UK will always defend.

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Edward L. Robinett