October 5, 2022

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Ukrainian activist Daria Kalinyuk confronts Boris Johnson over the West’s response to Russia

Ukrainian activist Daria Kalinyuk confronts Boris Johnson over the West's response to Russia

Johnson condemned Russia for its use of “barbaric” tactics against Ukrainian civilians. He also pledged that Britain would do more to help the rapidly growing number of Ukrainians refugees flee the conflict. He said Britain would ease restrictions on family members of British nationals and Ukrainians residing in the UK. This shift still represents far less than what other European countries offer.

But the highlight of the press conference came when Daria Kalinyuk, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Center, a Ukrainian advocacy organization, gave an impassioned speech.

“You are coming to Poland. She said you will not come to Kyiv … because you are afraid.

It also suggested that Britain could do more to target the Russian oligarchs who call London – sometimes called “Londongrad” – home.

Ukrainian activist Daria Kalinyuk challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference in Warsaw on March 1, questioning NATO’s lack of response. (Reuters)

You’re talking about more sanctions, Prime Minister. But Roman Abramovich not punished. He is in London. His children are not in the bombing. “His kids are right there, in London,” Kalinyuk said. Johnson pledged to respression Over Britain’s “dirty money,” the British government froze assets and imposed travel bans on a handful of prominent Russian oligarchs.

In an emotional plea, the activist, who is from Kyiv, asked Johnson to think of the women and children who fear for their lives, and urged NATO allies to support a no-fly zone.

“Ukrainian women and children are in deep fear because of the bombs and missiles being launched from the sky. The Ukrainian people are desperately demanding the rights to protect our skies. We demand a no-fly zone,” she said.

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Johnson, looked down on by the stock exchange, ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“I just want to say that I am fully aware that there is not enough we can do as the UK government to help in the way you want it to. I have to be honest about that,” he said. Referring to the no-fly zone, he said: “Unfortunately, the implication of this is that the UK will engage in shooting down Russian planes, and engage in direct combat with Russia. This is not something we can do, or envision.”