Ukraine crisis: Boris Johnson warns Vladimir Putin his ‘hideous and barbaric venture’ will end in failure

Boris Johnson has warned Vladimir Putin his “hideous and barbaric venture” will end in failure.

The Prime Minister made the comments during a televised address after Moscow launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine, hitting cities and bases with air strikes or shelling.

Mr Johnson also urged Russians to ask themselves if the invasion was in their name and claimed it would bring down Putin.

He said: “Our worst fears have now come true and all our warnings have proved tragically accurate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks from Downing Street, London, in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Picture: PA

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“President Putin of Russia has unleashed war in our European continent.

“He has attacked a friendly country without any provocation and without any credible excuse.

“Innumerable missiles and bombs have been raining down on an entirely innocent population.

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

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“We – and the world – cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out.”

He spoke from No 10 after chairing an urgent Cobra emergency committee meeting on Thursday morning, and is scheduled to speak to the Commons in the evening.

Mr Johnson also promised a series of sanctions, and promised the invasion would end in failure.

He said: “Diplomatically, politically, economically – and eventually, militarily – this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

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

“The parents of Russian soldiers who will lose their lives.

“I cannot believe this is being done in your name or that you really want the pariah status it will bring to the Putin regime.

“This act of wanton and reckless aggression is an attack not just on Ukraine, it’s an attack on democracy and freedom in eastern Europe and around the world.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“I don’t believe that the Russian dictator will ever subdue the national feeling of the Ukrainians and their passionate belief that their country should be free.”

Read More

Read More
Ukraine crisis: Russia has launched 'full-scale invasion'

It came as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and urged people to stay indoors, amid reports of missile strikes and explosions across the country.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, accused Mr Putin of “bringing war back to Europe”.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Mr Zelensky called on Ukrainian nationals to volunteer for the resistance effort.

He said: “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.

“We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defence with weapons in hands.

“We have severed diplomatic relations with Russia. For all those who have not yet lost their conscience in Russia, it is time to go out and protest against the war with Ukraine.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned the Kremlin “must face the severest consequences” for “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine.

She tweeted: “Overnight developments in Ukraine – however anticipated – are appalling and horrific.

"The Kremlin must face the severest consequences for this unprovoked aggression.

"And the world must stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine #StandWithUkraine.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Russia said it has only targeted Ukrainian air bases and other military assets, not populated areas.

But in a televised address, Mr Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.Earlier ministers were told Chelsea FC’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich should be “no longer able to own a football club in this country”.

At Business questions, Labour MP Chris Bryant told MPs: “I have got hold of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office which says in relation to Mr Abramovich – ‘As part of HMG’s Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices’.

“‘HMG is focused on ensuring that his link to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this’.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“That is nearly three years ago and yet remarkably little has been done in relation.

"Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152 million home?

"And making sure that other people who have had Tier 1 Visas like this are not engaged in malign activity?”

Commons Leader Mark Spencer replied: “He will know under the sanctions passed in the House this week there is the opportunity for the Government to take very strong action against high-profile Russian individuals who are of concern.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“He will be aware that the Home Secretary will be at this despatch box next Monday for Home Office questions and I am sure he will be able to challenge her directly.”

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.