Ukraine urges PM to send arms so international allies 'will follow'

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Boris Johnson, who is hugely popular in Ukraine, has been urged to back Kyiv’s demands for longer-range weapons. Several streets in Ukraine have been named after the British Prime Minister, following his leadership in the war. Kira Rudik, a Ukrainian MP with the centrist Golos party, is visiting the UK to ask Mr Johnson and British politicians to provide weapons that the US “are delaying to give us”. 

She praised the PM for always being “a step ahead of the US” on the Ukraine war.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Ms Rudik criticised Germany for “dragging its feet over giving us weapons”.

She said: “It has been promises, and promises, and promises but little action from Germany.

“The people in the whole of Europe are united with Ukraine. Politicians need to step up.”

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The MP turned to Boris Johnson and said: “In terms of Ukraine, he is trying to be a step ahead of the US, and he is successful in that.

“I’m here asking for the missile system that the US is delaying to give to us, so we decided let’s ask the UK instead.

“You guys are a little bit ahead in showing leadership and that is a good thing.”

Responding to the Ukrainian calls, Mr Johnson said Kyiv should be supplied with long-range multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to help prevent Russian invaders from gaining momentum in the Donbas.

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He told Bloomberg that the weapon systems would enable Ukraine “to defend themselves against this very brutal Russian artillery, and that’s where the world needs to go”.

Despite repeated delays, the White House is also thought to be preparing to supply the long-range rockets, which could change the tide of the war.

Ukraine’s existing artillery has a maximum range of roughly 15 miles, while the requested weapon systems from the US have a maximum range of more than 100 miles (165km) and up to 12 projectiles a minute can be fired from an armoured vehicle


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The firepower is understood to go beyond the original commitment made by NATO to only send “defensive systems” to Ukraine.

There had been concerns in the White House that Ukraine could use the new weapons to carry out offensive attacks inside Russia.

In the wake of the reports, a host on Russian state TV warned that supplying the longer-range missiles would “cross a red line”.

Olga Skabeeva warned: “And if the Americans do this, they will clearly cross a red line, and we will record an attempt to provoke a very harsh response from Russia.”

Russia has recently won ground in its invasion of the Donbas and pummeled Ukraine in the east, where Ukraine is outmanned and outgunned, according to Ukrainian officials.

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