DARIA Kaleniuk, the Ukrainian reporter who confronted Boris Johnson in a press conference last week, has attacked the UK Government for failing to help refugees fleeing the war.

Last week Kaleniuk confronted the Prime Minister in a moment that went viral and hit headlines all over the world, as she demanded more action to help Ukraine in its defence against Russia - particularly calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Speaking exclusively with The National almost a week later Kaleniuk expressed frustration with the limited number of refugees being accepted into the UK, thought to be just a few hundred so far, while urging Johnson to be tougher on Russian oligarchs. 

The National: Daria Kaleniuk confronted Boris Johnson at a press conference last weekDaria Kaleniuk confronted Boris Johnson at a press conference last week

She said: “It is a big shame that the UK is not opening its borders and simplifying procedures for Ukrainian refugees. At the same time, the UK is doing nothing on revoking golden visas for Russian elites and their children.  

“It’s a good thing that these visas won’t exist anymore but what is happening to the Russian oligarchs who already have it? Our demand to Boris Johnson is that these Russian elites and their family members must be thrown out of the country immediately. I still don’t understand why these people have not been targeted. I asked Boris Johnson directly and it’s already been a week.  

Roman Abramovich, the billionaire who owns Chelsea, who has the most luxurious villas in Great Britain was not sanctioned.” 

Kaleniuk went on to say that the oligarchs are Putin’s weak spot. She said: “Who are these oligarchs? They are not businessmen. They are war criminals because they are Putin’s wallet. Putin appointed them to be asset holders for him. They embezzled from Russia, millions and billions of money and then play with it across the wealthy western world.” 

When asked what she would say to Johnson if she could confront him again, she said: “Boris Johnson, don’t be afraid to keep your promises. Great Britain gave a promise to the Ukrainian people in 1994, to defend Ukrainian sovereignty if there should be aggression against us. We gave up our nuclear weapons for these guarantees. We are not receiving protection, which we need and require.” 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson claims UK is 'generous' as possible towards Ukrainian refugees

Kaleniuk is also fiercely advocating for the implementation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as a means of squashing Russian aggression. A no-fly-zone would make it so that any Russian aircraft flying over Ukraine would have to be shot down by those implementing the measure. However, many have advised against this as it could potentially escalate the conflict beyond what it may have otherwise.  

Commenting on this issue, Kaleniuk said: “What’s the problem of providing these defence systems to Ukraine? I really can’t understand it. They won’t directly contradict Russia but Russia directly attacks the entire idea of democracy. 

“It’s not enough to hold summits of democracy and talk blah blah blah – about how democracy is great … Sometimes in such crucial moments, you have to be ready to fight for democracy with real weapons and give real weapons to those who are defending democracy.” 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson confronted by Ukrainian journalist in Warsaw

The balance of interests between supporting Ukraine and escalating the conflict is polarising opinion in the west, particularly with the added risk of nuclear weapons potentially coming into play. However, Kalenuik is convinced that erring on the side of caution is a mistake and that “the cost of inaction is bigger than the cost of action”. 

She said: “Non-action is also a decision. If there will be millions of dead in Ukraine, it will be because of inaction. There are people with names who are not acting. Joseph Biden, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Boris Johnson. These are leaders of the free world who are not free because they are paralysed by fear. 

“Ukraine is now the leader of the free world. Because we are fighting without fear for our freedom.”