King Charles says Ukraine faces ‘indescribable aggression’

  • By Sean Coughlan
  • Royal correspondent

Image caption,

King Charles, pictured with President Zelensky a year ago, has praised Ukraine’s ‘heroism’

King Charles issued a strongly worded message of support for Ukraine in a statement marking the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

He has spoken of the “indescribable aggression” the Ukrainians have faced since what he calls the “unprovoked attack on their country.”

The unusually direct message appears to be a call to continue international aid to Ukraine.

The King welcomed the continued support of Britain and its allies.

At a time when there were some doubts about financial and military aid to Ukraine, especially from some politicians in the United States, King Charles praised international support for Ukraine at a time of “great suffering and great need.”

King Charles spoke about the military training provided to Ukrainian soldiers in Britain and praised the efforts of the country’s president, Zelensky.

As the war enters a third year, the king has made no secret of his sympathies, praising the “determination and strength of the Ukrainian people.”

“Despite the enormous hardship and pain inflicted on them, Ukrainians continue to demonstrate the heroism with which the world so closely associates them. Their true courage, despite indescribable aggression,” the king’s statement said.

The war in Ukraine is close to the king’s heart. In the early stages of the conflict, he made a surprise visit to Ukrainian refugees who had fled across the border into Romania.

He has visited the Ukrainian community in Britain and during a state visit to France last year, the king told the Senate of the importance of a Ukrainian victory over Russia’s “horrendous” invasion so that “our cherished freedoms will triumph”.

It is unusual for the king to speak so unequivocally about an international conflict and for his comments to reflect the strength of his feelings.

This latest personal intervention in Ukraine comes as the king receives treatment for cancer. He has withdrawn from public events but continues to work in his role as head of state.

The king’s statement, which is said to have been made in consultation with ministers, follows Britain’s announcement of further sanctions against Russia.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who visited Kiev last month to sign a new security treaty and announce £2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine over the coming year, said “we must renew our resolve” on this “grim anniversary” .

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