Mr Zelenski and Mr Johnson spoke hours before the British Prime Minister resigned (Photo: REX/Shutterstock)

Vladimir Zelensky thanked Boris Johnson for supporting his country “from the first day of Russian terror.”

Ukraine’s president sent the message to Mr Johnson in a late-night video message on Thursday, hours after the British prime minister finally agreed to step down.

Mr Zielenski said the news of Mr Johnson’s decision to step down was “a major topic (of conversation) in our country”.

He said Britain played a leading global role “in defending freedoms” and “the leadership and charisma of a head of state is always of paramount importance”.

Listing the weapons and “many other things” that Britain has supplied to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, Mr Zelensky thanked Mr Johnson for “significant political support, tough sanctions against Russia and financial assistance” to Ukraine.

“Britain’s role in protecting freedom is truly global,” he added.

“No matter what happens in the government offices in London, UK support for Ukraine should not change.”

The Ukrainian president said as he thanked Mr Johnson earlier in the day they talked on the phonethe Tory leader assured that Britain would remain steadfast in its support for the war-torn nation.

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Mr Johnson visited Ukraine several times during his premiership and after the Russian invasion.

In April, he surprised the world by making a secret trip to Kyiv to meet with Mr Zelensky at a time when the capital was still a big target for Russian troops.

Downing Street said that the visit was “a manifestation of solidarity” with Ukraine.

He returned to the capital again last month, visiting Mr. Zelensky on June 17 to discuss a new military training program.

Mr Johnson announced his resignation after more than 50 ministers left the government.

The move marked the end of a chaotic 72 hours in British politics, which came after three tumultuous years in Downing Street during which Mr Johnson faced numerous scandals.

But the 58-year-old was finally hurt by how he handled the Chris Pincher scandal.

Downing Street confirmed on Monday that Mr Johnson was aware of concerns about Mr Pincher’s behavior when he appointed him as deputy chief executive.

His spokesman later admitted that he was aware of the “speculation” surrounding the deputy, but “there was no official complaint at the time.”

The admission marked the beginning of the end for Mr Johnson, with a series of high-profile resignations from his government on Tuesday and Wednesday.

U his resignation speech Yesterday, Mr Johnson made many references to the conflict in Ukraine and Britain’s role in “leading the West to counter Putin’s aggression in Ukraine”.


Key events that led to the resignation of Boris Johnson

The news that Boris Johnson will step down as Prime Minister comes after a turbulent few days in British politics.

After a vote of no confidence in June, the government’s decision on the Chris Pincher scandal marked the end of Mr Johnson’s tenure in office.

Here’s a rundown of the key events that got us here.

Monday, July 4

Downing Street confirmed that Mr Johnson was aware of concerns about Mr Pincher’s behavior when he appointed him as deputy chief executive. His spokesman later admitted that he was aware of the “speculation” surrounding the deputy, but “there was no official complaint at the time.”

July 5, Tuesday

  • Lord Simon Macdonald, a former permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, publishes a scandalous letter which claims Mr Johnson was “personally” told of a formal complaint against Mr Pincher.
  • 12.30pm: Labor has been given an urgent question in Parliament about the Pincher scandal and what the Prime Minister knew.
  • Tory MPs are lining up in the House of Commons to publicly condemn Mr Johnson’s handling of the case.
  • 1pm: Downing Street said Mr Johnson had forgotten he had been told Mr Pincher was the subject of a formal complaint.
  • Tory backbenchers began publicly calling for Mr Johnson’s resignation.
  • Just before 6pm: Mr Johnson is forced to apologize for his handling of the Pincher scandal.
  • 6.02pm Sajid Javid resigns as health secretary, saying the British people “rightly expect integrity from their government”.
  • 18.11: Chancellor Rishi Sunak resigns.
  • What would become a steady stream of rejections begins.
  • 9.40pm: Nadhim Zahavi is appointed Chancellor, Michelle Donnellan becomes Education Secretary and Steve Barclay Health Secretary.

Wednesday, July 6

  • 8.25am: Will Quince became the first minister of the day to resign, while backbenchers including Lee Anderson and Robert Halfon publicly withdrew their support for Mr Johnson.
  • 12pm: Mr Johnson rejects calls to resign during PMQs, citing his “enormous mandate” in 2019. He promises to continue.
  • 2.25pm: Ministers Kemi Badenoch, Julia Lopez, Mims Davies, Lee Rowley, Neil O’Brien and Alex Burghardt have announced their resignations via group email and are calling on the Prime Minister to step down.
  • 2.40pm: The Daily Mail reports that Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has told the Prime Minister he must resign.
  • 3pm: Amid the unfolding chaos, the Prime Minister appears before the Communications Committee to answer questions about his handling of the Pincher case.
  • A delegation of ministers, including some of Johnson’s longest-standing allies, are meeting with him to urge him to resign.
  • 8.15pm: Mr Johnson rejects calls for his resignation after meeting ministers.
  • 9pm: Mr Johnson sacks Michael Gove as Growth, Communities and Housing Secretary.
  • 10.30pm Simon Hart resigns as Welsh Minister.
  • 11pm: Attorney General Suella Braverman says it’s time for the Prime Minister to “go away”.

Thursday, July 7

  • The Tory exodus continues, with 27 resignations handed in by 9am: five at cabinet level and 22 at sub-cabinet level.
  • They include Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland minister, and Michelle Donelan, the newly appointed education minister.
  • Nadhim Zahavi publishes a stormy open letter calling on the Prime Minister to resign.
  • Shortly after 9am, news broke that Mr Johnson had agreed to resign as UK Prime Minister.

Contact our news team by emailing us webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check out our news page.


Zelensky thanks Boris for his support in video address after PM stood down

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