Boris Johnson envisioned a meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv today

Boris Johnson was spotted with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a surprise meeting in Kyiv.

The British Prime Minister was pictured at a table opposite Mr Zelensky with the Union Jack and Ukrainian flag in the background on Saturday.

It is believed to be the first time the two have met in person since Russia invaded Ukraine a month and a half ago, starting a war that has reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and displaced millions more.

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed the two had met in Kyiv on Saturday after a joint picture of the leaders was surprised on social media.

“The Prime Minister has traveled to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy in person as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” the spokesman for No. 10 said.

“They will discuss Britain’s long-term support for Ukraine and the Prime Minister will unveil a new package of financial and military aid.”

Andriy Sybiha, an adviser to the President of Ukraine, said Mr Johnson started his visit to Kyiv with a “tete-a-tete” meeting with Mr Zelensky.

The Ukrainian embassy in the UK shared a picture of the two leaders’ meeting on Saturday with the caption “Surprise” and a tongue-in-cheek emoji.

The leader of the Tory party had previously said the British prime minister was “desperate” to visit Ukraine to witness what was happening in the beleaguered country.

But a senior government official said The Independent Last month, such a trip would be “pointless” and his time would be “better spent tackling the Home Office’s dysfunction” over Britain’s response to the war-triggered refugee crisis.

Mr Johnson is believed to have last visited Ukraine, meeting Mr Zelensky in early February amid the threat of a Russian invasion.

His last trip to Kyiv came as Ukrainian authorities urged civilians to flee the eastern areas where Russia was massing its troops.

The warning came the day after the bombing of a train station sheltering civilians that killed at least 52 people.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the vulnerable and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now we are renewing our campaign and launching this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukraine crisis we urge the government to go further and faster to ensure aid is delivered.

To learn 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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