Feb 08, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an historic address to the British Parliament during a rare trip outside his country to seek more support against Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces.

He told lawmakers that he had come to “stand before you on behalf of the brave” and thanked the British people for their support since “Day One” of Russia’s invasion and asked for fighter jets that would help ensure Ukraine’s victory in the war.

Zelenskyy’s daring visit to Britain in a bid for more advanced weapons comes as Kyiv braces for an expected Russian offensive and hatches its own plans to retake land held by Moscow’s forces.

Hundreds of lawmakers and parliamentary staff packed the 900-year-old Westminster Hall for Zelenskyy’s speech.

It was only his second confirmed journey outside Ukraine since Russia invaded nearly a year ago. The first was when he addressed U.S. Congress in December.

(Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, inside Downing Street in London, Feb. 8, 2023. Dan Kitwood/Pool via AP)

After arriving on a Royal Air Force plane north of London, he was greeted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the tarmac and then later posed for a photo op and reporters’ questions at the PM’s residence at 10 Downing Street.

Zelenskyy will also meet with King Charles and U-K military chiefs.

Zelenskyy also lavished praise on former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Zelenskyy in Kyiv during the war.

The U.K. is one of the biggest military backers of Ukraine and has sent the country more than 2-billion pounds ($2.5 billion U.S.) in weapons and equipment.

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