Boris Johnson's resignation, which was cheered in London is being lamented in Ukraine

KYIV/LONDON - Many in Britain were relieved by Boris Johnson's reluctant resignation.

08 July 2022 Friday 10:19
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Boris Johnson's resignation, which was cheered in London is being lamented in Ukraine

KYIV/LONDON - Many in Britain were relieved by Boris Johnson's reluctant resignation. The mood in Ukraine is quite different, though it's more than 1,300 miles away.

Some London opposition views him as a scandal-ridden charlatan. However, the outgoing British prime Minister is beloved in Kyiv because of his vocal support for the country and the weapons that the U.K. provided for the fight against Russia during his tenure.

Olha Povaliaeva (30), a project manager from Donetsk (an important battleground in the conflict), said that Johnson's resignation was a personal tragedy. She said that the prime minister is now "an older brother" and "a close friend" who will always support, encourage, and comfort Ukraine. "I am sorry that this distinguished person is going through so much right now.

This support goes from sidewalk to legislature. President Volodymyr Zilenskyy called Johnson "a friend" Thursday and stated that "all Ukrainians were saddened" by his decision to resign.

There is also a sense of nervousness over whether Johnson's successor will be as bullish in their support.

Critics accused Johnson of using Ukraine as a distraction from his domestic woes, while he became more embattled by scandal after controversy. The Ukrainians seem not to care if the support was serving a dual purpose for domestic audiences. Few political actions have a dual-function.

The memes depicting the prime minister as a Medieval knight wearing Ukrainian colors on his arms have been viral. Another meme, which features "woman screaming at a cat", is based on the words "Johnson U.K." and looks like "Johnsoniuk," the Ukrainian version of his name.

The Ukrainian national railway service released a statement on Thursday, calling the prime minister the "#1 alligator of Ukraine" and a true friend to the railway. The logo was modified with his famous, blonde explosion of hair.

Another joke is that Ukrainians use social media to imagine Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron being their potential boyfriends.

Hanna Shelest is a director of the Foreign Policy Council "Ukrainian Prism".

This reflects frustration at the fact that France and Germany are often seen as swaying in their support of Kyiv. Macron's statement that the West should not "humiliate Russia" caused anger. Germany has also been accused of being slow in delivering weapons.

Shelest stated that Johnson is one of Ukraine's most popular politicians because he was clear right from the beginning and his words are always followed up with actions. She said that while many Brits have lost touch with his unconventional style, Ukrainians still see him as an extravagant man.

The second-highest pledged amount after the United States is 2.3 billion pounds ($2.75 trillion) in military aid. It provided 6,500 NLAWs, next-generation light anti-tank weapons. These weapons have been instrumental in the destruction of many Russian tanks.

Johnson was inducted into the Cossack community of Chernihiv, a northern Ukrainian city. He is given the name Boris Chuprina, which means "a long hair." It also commissioned a painting of Johnson as Cossack Mamai, a folkloric figure who plays a local instrument called a "kobza".

Andrii Lisovyi (58), deputy director of Chernihiv Regional Museum of History said that the painting represented Johnson's courage.

He said that when you're in a basement with bombardment, the prime minister is someone Ukrainians admire as someone who shouts strong -- not just with words but also with actions.

The "Boris Johnson" croissant was created by the staff of Kyiv's Zavertailo Bakery. To symbolize Prime Minister's haywire hair, the desert was inspired by an English apple pie and vanilla ice cream.

Heorhii (25), who runs the bakery, said that "this topic is really quite painful for us today." He declined to give his last name. Johnson "made a tremendous impact on Ukraine's history and supported our country," Heorhii said.

It is not clear what will happen now.

Johnson called Zelenskyy just hours after his resignation speech on Thursday. He reiterated his support for Zelenskyy and said, "You're an hero, everybody loves You."

This is a very uncertain period in British politics. It is not clear what Johnson would or could do to make big decisions about Ukraine. He is a caretaker prime minister, meaning he has little authority or credibility and keeps the chair warm until his successor.

This person will most likely support Ukraine, but it is not clear if they will throw their political weight or capital behind Kyiv.

Shelest stated that there is "nervousness" about the uncertainty ahead of a new prime Minister being elected. She also said that the U.K. would be more focused on its political crisis.



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