Johnson to bring up Churchill, telling Ukrainian MPs conflict is their ‘finest hour’

BORIS Johnson is to compare Russia’s conflict with Ukraine to Hitler’s World War II invasion of Europe in a speech to MPs in Kyiv.

The Prime Minister will refer to Winston Churchill when he declares tomorrow to the members of the Verkhovna Rada that it is their country’s “finest hour”.

Churchill told MPs in 1940, as Britain faced the threat of invasion by Germany, that if they could stand up to Hitler ‘all Europe could be free’ and said “Let us therefore prepare ourselves for our duty and endure that if the British Commonwealth and Empire last a thousand years, men will still say, ‘It was their finest hour.

Mr Johnson is set to echo that sentiment when addressing Ukrainian MPs, becoming the first world leader to do so since the invasion began three months ago.

He is expected to say that just as Britain considers its “finest hour” to be the strength the people showed in the face of the “threat of invasion in World War II”, the current conflict “is Ukraine’s hour of glory”.

Mr Johnson will address MPs via video link from Downing Street, where he is expected to say: ‘When my country was threatened with invasion in the Second World War, our parliament – like yours – continued to meet throughout throughout the conflict, and the British people showed such unity and determination that we remember our time of greatest peril as our finest hour.

“This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national history that will be remembered and retold for generations to come.

“Your children and grandchildren will say that Ukrainians taught the world that the brute force of an aggressor counts for nothing against the moral force of a people determined to be free.”

He will also announce a £300million package of military aid and specialist civil defense vehicles for the war-torn country tomorrow, the same day the British Embassy in Kyiv reopens.

The new wave of support will include electronic warfare equipment, GPS jamming equipment and thousands of post-dark conflict night vision goggles and devices.

In the coming weeks, heavy-lift drone systems will be delivered to provide logistical support to isolated forces and more than a dozen new specialized Toyota Landcruisers will also be dispatched to help protect civilian officials in eastern Ukraine and to evacuate civilians from frontline areas, following a request from the Ukrainian government.

The additional aid comes as the war enters its third month, displacing millions from their homes and killing thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Israel, which at times acted as a negotiator and peacekeeper in the conflict, is now drawn deeper into the fight after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood”.

In a signal of a sharp deterioration in relations with Moscow, the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an apology.

“Such lies are aimed at blaming the Jews themselves for the most horrific crimes in history that have been committed against them,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

“The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people for political purposes must stop immediately.”

Mr Lavrov made the claim on Italian television on Sunday when asked why Russia said it had to “denazify” Ukraine if the country’s own president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was Jewish.

“Well, I think Hitler had Jewish background too, so that doesn’t mean anything,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Dani Dayan, president of Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, said the Russian minister’s remarks were “an insult and a blow to the victims of true Nazism”.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the comments were “unforgivable and outrageous”.