President Zelenskyy 'very happy' Boris Johnson survived no confidence vote

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he is 'very happy' that 'true friend' Boris Johnson won his no confidence vote. Credit: PA

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has said that he is "very happy" that Boris Johnson is still the prime minister of the UK following his no confidence vote.

The prime minister insisted he had secured a “decisive” victory despite 148 of his own MPs voting to oust him on Monday night, arguing the government could now “move on” and focus on what “really matters to people”.

He also poured cold water on the prospect of a snap election, saying he was “certainly not interested” in the idea.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Financial Times, Mr Zelenskyy added: “I am very happy. He is a true friend of Ukraine.”

“I’m glad we haven’t lost an important ally, this is great news.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a Cabinet meeting after surviving the confidence motion Credit: Leon Neal/PA

A Number 10 spokesperson added that Mr Johnson "enjoys a very close relationship" with the Ukrainian president.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has been a cornerstone of Boris Johnson's argument to maintain his premiership even in the face of Tory rebels and partygate fines.

And while allies of Mr Johnson have insisted his ballot victory should draw a line under the question of his leadership, Labour is moving to apply further pressure on the PM by pushing a Commons vote on standards.

Tory MPs voted by 211 to 148 in support of the prime minister, but the scale of the revolt against his leadership left him wounded.

A civilian militia man holds a shotgun and a rifle during training at a shooting range in outskirts Kyiv Credit: AP

Across eastern Ukraine it has been reported that Russia is deploying troop reinforcements in a bid to grind down Ukrainian defences and capture key targets.

One of the targets converted by Moscow in this latest offensive is the city of Sievierodonetsk.

Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press that the “toughest street battles continue, with varying degrees of success.

“The situation constantly changes, but the Ukrainians are repelling attacks.”

Russia appears committed to the capturing of the entire eastern Donbas part of Ukraine.

And though Kremlin forces have superior firepower, the Ukrainians defenders - among them the country’s most well-trained forces - are entrenched and have the capability to counterattack.

In Kyiv, meanwhile, autopsies were planned on dozens of Ukrainian fighters killed at the Azovstal steelworks.

The bodies were returned to Ukraine by the Russian occupiers of the fortress-like plant in the destroyed city of Mariupol, where their last-ditch stand became a symbol of resistance against Moscow’s invasion.

The Azov Regiment was among the Ukrainian units that defended the steelworks for nearly three months before surrendering in May under relentless Russian attacks from the ground, sea and air.

It was unclear how many bodies might remain at the plant.

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