UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has on Friday April 22, 2022, announced that the British Embassy in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, will reopen next week.
Ambassador Melinda Simmons disclosed that she is “heading back” after leaving when Russia began the invasion on Ukraine. The Prime Minister also disclosed that there is a “realistic possibility” the Russian bombardment would continue until the end of next year.
Mr. Johnson added the UK was looking at sending tanks to support Poland as it supplies Ukraine with heavy weaponry. The Prime Minister made the Embassy announcement at a news conference in Delhi, where he has been holding talks with Indian Leader, Narendra Modi. The decision to reopen the Embassy came after Russia withdrew forces from around Kyiv when it failed to seize the capital, but rather launched an assault on the Eastern Donbas region.
Forecasting an end of the War
Mr. Johnson visited Kyiv earlier this month to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, following a pledge to give £100m worth of weapons to Ukraine. While taking questions from reporters, the Prime Minister disclosed that intelligence assessments that the Russian assault could continue to the end of next year, and a Russian victory is probable. He pointed out that Russian President, Vladimir Putin has “a huge army” but “he has a very difficult political position because he’s made a catastrophic blunder”.
“The only option he now has, really, is to continue to try to use his appalling, grinding approach driven by artillery, trying to grind the Ukrainians down. I think no matter what military superiority Vladimir Putin may be able to bring to bear in the next few months, and I agree it could be a long period, he will not be able to conquer the spirit of the Ukrainian people.”UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister again revealed that he is looking at what the UK could do to “backfill” weapons in countries, such as Poland, “who may want to send heavier weaponry to help defend the Ukrainians. We’re looking at sending tanks to Poland to help them, as they send some of their T-72s [tanks] to Ukraine and other steps like that”.
Long Term Goal for the West
In the long term, Mr. Johnson said he believed Western nations would respond to demands from Ukraine to guarantee the country’s security against future attacks.
He said this would not replicate the Article 5 guarantee for NATO members, in which an attack on one country (member of NATO) is treated as an attack on all NATO members. But rather, Western allies would offer pledges to provide weaponry, training and intelligence-sharing
“I hope it will enable the Ukrainians to offer deterrents by denial and to make sure their territory is so fortified as to be impregnable in the future to further attack from Russia.”UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
“Deterrence by denial” is a military term which means seeking to put off an aggressor by making their attack infeasible or unlikely to succeed, rather than through the threat of retaliation.
Mr. Johnson averred he backed ministers if they chose to visit the embassy. Already, European Diplomats have begun returning to the capital.