UK Embassy In Kiev To Reopen Next Week, But Johnson Warns Russian Victory A "Realistic Possibility"

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 22, 2022 - 01:00 PM

The UK has announced Friday that it plans to reopen its embassy in Kiev next week, according to a fresh statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson made the announcement from India, saying, "The extraordinary fortitude and success of President Zelenskiy in resisting Russian forces in Kyiv means I can announce that very shortly, next week, we will reopen our embassy in Ukraine’s capital city."

"I want to pay tribute to those British diplomats who remained in the region throughout this period," he added during the press conference. The announcement comes after a string of European countries have re-opened their diplomatic missions in the Ukrainian capital.

During Johson's surprise trip to meet with Zelensky in Ukraine earlier this month, via Reuters.

The UK embassy had shuttered quickly within the opening days of Russia's Feb.24 invasion, and has been closed since, also as most other countries were forced to close their embassies and consulates, including the United States, amid bombardment of various parts of Ukraine.

Johnson during the New Delhi comments acknowledged that a Russian military victory in Ukraine remains a "realistic possibility" given that the defined scope of Russia's operations have changed to focusing on taking the Donbas: "Yes, I mean, look, I think the sad thing is that that is a realistic possibility," the prime minister said.

He added:

Putin has a huge army. [But] he has a very difficult political position because he’s made a catastrophic blunder.

The only option he now has really is to continue to try to use his his appalling, grinding approach – led by artillery – trying to grind the Ukrainians down. And he’s very close to securing a land bridge in Mariupol.

Johnson still described the battlefield situation as "unpredictable" at this point: 

But what we’ve also seen is the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians and their willingness to fight.

And I’ll tell you something: I think, no matter what military superiority Vladimir Putin may be able to bring to bear in the next few months – and I agree it could be it could be a long period, he will not be able to conquer the spirit of the Ukrainian people.

He additionally pledged more UK military support, also as Washington has ramped up his own aid, to the tune of some $3 billion in military aid total having been pledged to Ukraine so far since the invasion. "We’ve got to look at what more we can do militarily. We’ve got to keep intensifying the economic sanctions. And that’s what we’re doing. We want to make sure that there is wave after wave of intensifying pressure on on Putin," Johnson said.

Currently the Biden administration is also coming under pressure to reopen the US embassy, or at least an official consular presence in Lviv, in the Western part of the country where less fighting has taken place.