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UK will pursue more options to bolster Ukraine’s self-defence, says PM

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he UK will “continue to pursue more options for bolstering Ukraine’s self-defence”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, as he commended the country’s people on their “fortitude” in the face of Russian aggression.

In a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, Mr Johnson said the UK would “continue to stand behind Ukraine in all their efforts to bring an end to this disastrous conflict”.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Social Care said 21 Ukrainian children will receive lifesaving cancer treatment in England after being brought over by the UK Government with the support of Polish authorities and clinicians.

Mr Johnson commended Mr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people on their “fortitude”, adding that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric actions” were “testing not just Ukraine but all of humanity”, No 10 said.

The men also “condemned the murders of Brent Renaud and countless innocent Ukrainians, and the abduction of the mayors of Dniprorudne and Melitopol”.

It was reported on Sunday that Mr Renaud, an acclaimed US filmmaker, was killed after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Mr Zelensky has accused Russia of kidnapping the mayor of Melitopol, a port city in the south of Ukraine.

And Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Sunday that “Russian war criminals” had “abducted another democratically elected Ukrainian mayor, head of Dniprorudne Yevhen Matveyev”.

It came as 35 people were killed in an attack on a military training base in western Ukraine.

Mr Johnson was said to have told Mr Zelensky during their call that the UK would “continue to pursue more options for bolstering Ukraine’s self-defence”.

“The Prime Minister outlined the support the UK continues to deliver to Ukraine,” a No 10 spokesman said.

“He said the UK would continue to pursue more options for bolstering Ukraine’s self-defence, working with partners including at Tuesday’s meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) in London.

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