By Max Hender and Evan Lubish-Kirde
KYIV (Reuters) – As Boris Johnson’s tenure as British prime minister hangs in the balance, Ukrainians are hoping that some people will begin to affectionately call him “Boris Johnsneuk”.
Johnson is facing a growing revolt within his own Conservative party after resigning from several ministerial posts, but Ukrainians honor him as one of their most vocal supporters overseeing the vital supply of weapons and anti-tank weapons to repel Russian attacks.
In Kiev, she is depicted in street art and is the subject of a portrait exhibition, when a creamy cake with an ice cream topping that bears her name like her random blonde hair – like several Ukrainian streets.
“It’s a shame because we (Ukraine) need as much support as possible,” said actress Katerina Chikina, 22, one of several Kiev residents who told Reuters they did not want her to leave.
Political cartoons on world leaders
“We need them if there are influential politicians abroad. We don’t want to lose her because she really helps us. She’s a beauty.”
Artist Tetiana Kropiva, 24, was busy drawing a parable of Johnson on a barrel that served as an outdoor table at a bar in the capital’s Paddle’s Hipster Hub on Wednesday.
“As a painter, I can say that his facial features are very unique. He is interesting to draw because he has many qualities,” he told Reuters.
At the History Museum in Kiev, two portraits of Johnson on the front of the glass help bring in punters, museum staffer Mykola Petrichenko said.
“It’s a kind of marketing magnet because Boris Johnson is very popular among the Ukrainian people … pedestrians, when they see his portrait in the window, they can recognize him and they come in and ask about the exhibition.”
Inside, more portraits of Johnson – as well as another of Queen Elizabeth and US President Joe Biden – are hung side by side with Ukrainian soldiers and well-known commanders in a series depicting Ukrainian heroes.
Dimitro Usikov, 27, said Johnson would get free drinks at his bar even if he was forced out of power.
“We will serve him everything for free … because he has really helped our country, and is still helping us. The spirit of Ukraine, one might say.”
(Reporting by Anna Dabrowska; Editing by Tom Balmforth and John Stonestreet)
Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.