From Johnson to Macron to Albanese: A look at Ukraine's wartime visitors

Updated: Jul 03, 2022, 09:47 PM(IST)

Leaders from around the world extended support for war-torn Ukraine after Russia announced an invasion of its neighbouring country on February 24, what Moscow calls a "special military operation". 

Leaders have sent humanitarian and military aid, some even visited the country to show their support. 

Take a look at Ukraine's wartime visitors: 

Aussie PM in Ukraine

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited three war-ravaged towns in Ukraine's Kyiv region, the local governor said on July 3. Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram that Albanese visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, where Ukraine says Russia committed atrocities against civilians. Russia denies the allegations. 

Kuleba quoted Albanese as saying: "Australia supports Ukraine and wants to see justice meted out for the crimes committed here." 

(Photograph:Reuters)

The first visitors

On March 15, the prime ministers of the central European countries of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia are the first Western leaders to visit Ukraine. 

Their visit came just three weeks after the Russian invasion, which started on February 24. 

They made a risky journey by train from Poland. During their talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Kyiv was under curfew and explosions were heard from fighting on the western outskirts of the capital. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Johnson's first visit

The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the first leader of a G7 country to visit the war-torn country on April 9. 

Johnson was filmed on a walkabout in the deserted streets of Kyiv with Zelensky, acclaimed by residents for his show of solidarity. 

(Photograph:AFP)

EU leader dodges strikes

Johnson arrived a day after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who told Zelensky that Ukraine "is marching towards a European future". 

On April 20, European Council president Charles Michel called for justice for the war crimes committed in Ukraine during a visit to the war-scarred Kyiv suburb of Borodianka. 

Both EU leaders visited Ukraine twice. Michel's second trip on May 9 took him to the Black Sea port of Odessa, where he had to break off a meeting and take shelter after missiles struck the city. 

(Photograph:AFP)

UN leader 'shocked'

Russian missiles also fell on central Kyiv on the day UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited.

Ten people were injured in the strikes. The UN team escaped harm but a spokesman for Guterres said he was "shocked". 

(Photograph:AFP)

Jill Biden and Justin Trudeau

US President Joe Biden has yet to visit Ukraine but his wife Jill made a surprise appearance on May 8. She met Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska in a school close to Ukraine's border with Slovakia. 

On the same day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv where he said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "responsible for heinous war crimes" and must be held to account. 

(Photograph:AFP)

French, German, and Italian leaders visit

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi showed their support for Ukraine by visiting the country on June 16. 

Macron had been particularly criticised for delaying his trip, which came over two months after Johnson made the visit. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Johnson's second visit

Johnson was back in Kyiv on June 17 on what was his second visit in just over two months, Zelensky said, hailing Britain's "resolute" support for Ukraine. 

He wrote on Telegram with a video of him greeting the British leader at the presidential palace. "Many days of this war have proved that Great Britain's support for Ukraine is firm and resolute. Glad to see our country's great friend Boris Johnson in Kyiv again," Zelensky said. 

"Mr President, Volodymyr, it is good to be in Kyiv again," wrote Johnson on his official Twitter account. 

(Photograph:AFP)

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