British PM Johnson praises 'spirit' of Ukraine rail workers after Kyiv visit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left)) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walking in central Kyiv on April 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

KYIV (AFP) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the resilience of Ukrainian rail workers in the war with Russia when he took the train from Poland to Kyiv to meet President Volodmyr Zelensky on Saturday (April 9).

His video address was posted on Facebook on Sunday by Ukrainian railways spokesman Oleksandr Shevchenko.

"I gather you are called the 'iron people'," the British leader said.

"This is not just because of the industry you work in. It also reflects that you are showing the spirit of Ukraine in standing up to the appalling aggression that we are seeing."

Ukrainian trains have played a key role in evacuating civilians from conflict zones.

Trains have been targeted by shooting and shelling.

This week 52 people were killed by shelling at a railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk as they awaited evacuation.

"I am so sorry for the loss of some of your colleagues and comrades in Kramatorsk," Mr Johnson said.

"I want to say a massive thank you to all the staff of Ukrainian railways for what you're doing," he added.

"We in the UK stand in solidarity with you."

Mr Johnson was in Kyiv on Saturday for talks with Mr Zelensky, during which he pledged more military aid for Ukraine.

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