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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson says good will triumph over evil as he pays tribute to Ukraine in Easter message

Boris Johnson paid tribute to Ukraine in his annual Easter message.

The Prime Minister said good will triumph over evil as he directly addressed Ukrainian Christians.

Mr Johnson also read a Bible passage from the book of Psalms in Ukrainian as part of a video posted on his Twitter account on Sunday morning.

He said Christ’s “self-sacrifice and resurrection” resonates on Easter Sunday “whether it’s Christians here in the UK loving their neighbours and carrying out the countless acts of kindness that are a hallmark of the faith, those around the world facing fear of persecution, forced to celebrate their saviour’s rebirth in secret”.

He added: “And of course the Christians of Ukraine, whether they’re marking Easter today or its Orthodox equivalent later this month, for whom Christ’s message of hope – the triumph of life over death and good over evil – will resonate this year perhaps more than any other.

“Easter tells us there is light beyond the darkness, that beyond the suffering lies redemption.”

Speaking in Ukrainian, the Prime Minister quoted Psalm 31 as he said: “Be strong and have courage in your heart, all you who trust in the Lord.”

It comes after Mr Johnson and his senior ministers were banned from entering Russia.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, and former PM Theresa May are among those on the list published by Russia’s foreign ministry.

The department said the move was due to the “unprecedented hostile actions of the British Government, expressed, in particular, in the imposition of sanctions against top officials” in Russia.

It added: “The Russophobic course of action of the British authorities, whose main goal is to stir up negative attitude toward our country, curtailing of bilateral ties in almost all areas, are detrimental to the wellbeing and interests of the residents of Britain. Any sanctions attack will inevitably backfire on their initiators and receive a decisive rebuff.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war. We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine.”

Mr Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday afternoon.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister paid tribute to the bravery of Ukrainian forces who continue to valiantly defend their country’s freedom.

“President Zelensky updated the Prime Minister on the situation in Mariupol, and the Prime Minister said he saluted Ukrainian resistance in the city.

“The pair discussed the need for a long-term security solution for Ukraine, and the Prime Minister said he would continue to work closely with allies and partners to ensure Ukraine could defend its sovereignty in the weeks and months to come.

“The Prime Minister updated President Zelensky on new sanctions from the UK that came into force last week, and said the UK would continue to provide the means for Ukraine to defend itself, including armoured vehicles in the coming days.

“The Prime Minister said international support for Ukraine only grew stronger and that he remained convinced Ukraine would succeed and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin would fail.”

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