Tory minister claims Ukrainians ‘shout God save the Queen’ as they fire UK weapons at Russian tanks

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly says he is ‘very proud’ of UK’s assistance to Kyiv

Joe Middleton
Tuesday 15 March 2022 21:32 GMT
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Tory minister claims Ukrainians 'shout God save the Queen' when firing UK weapons.mp4

Ukrainian soldiers are shouting “God save the Queen” as they fire weapons provided by the UK at Russian tanks, a Tory minister has said.

The claim first emerged earlier this week after Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly told Boris Johnson that troops were saying a portion of the national anthem when attacking invading Russian forces.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly repeated the claim on Tuesday as MPs took part in a debate in parliament to consider the current situation in Ukraine.

Mr Cleverly said: “We have heard anecdotally that Ukrainians are shouting ‘God save the Queen’ as they are firing those weapons at the tanks that have been sent to destroy them.

“I am very, very proud that we play an incredibly important part.”

Mr Cleverly also stressed the UK was among the first countries to provide “lethal aid” to Ukraine and stressed the importance of “British military technology” and “British military training” to the Ukrainian war effort.

His remarks came after Conservative MP James Gray said: “Would he agree with me that one of the lighter moments in an otherwise extremely bleak picture in Ukraine was the destruction of Russian tanks using one, has to presume, British NLAWs?”

This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)
Firefighters climb a ladder while working to extinguish a blaze in a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv
Firefighters climb a ladder while working to extinguish a blaze in a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv (AP)

The UK has so far sent 3,615 anti-tank weapons, called NLAWS - a light anti tank weapon - that is seen as vital for taking out Russian tanks.

It comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Russian bombs hit a residential area in Kyiv, including four multi-storey buildings, and caused dozens of deaths.

Mr Zelensky also warned other European nations could be targeted by Russia and admitted that Ukraine must accept it will not join Nato.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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