Kiev was and remains the target. “They want to occupy and own the entire country,” Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in an interview with Europe correspondent Geert Jan Han in the Ukrainian capital. Klitschko says Putin will try again. Ukraine was not well prepared for war.
We were not well prepared for war. If the government is ready, how can they (the Russians, ed.) reach the borders of our capital so quickly? My personal opinion is that we were not well prepared for this. We did not expect the Russians to go directly to Kiev.
According to Klitschko, the advance of Russian troops into Kiev in the first days of the war was a close call. Kyiv has a special place. It is the capital of the country, the heart of Ukraine. Therefore, at the beginning of the war, the Russian Armed Forces were very close. However, they did not expect how cruel our soldiers could be.
Klitschko admits that the Ukrainians knew an invasion was imminent. We knew they wanted it, but everyone hoped it wouldn’t happen. But honestly, we weren’t ready for that. It was a shock to everyone that the Russians got so close. It was only 10 kilometers from here. Hostomel is a city belonging to Kiev. The first months of the war were just critical. Because we were already preparing for street fights in our city.
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Not only did the Ukrainian forces succeed in stopping the Russians, but they also drove them back to their initial positions. However, Klitschko has no illusions: Putin will once again try to win the first prize. Kiev was and remains the target. They want to occupy and own the whole country. But I doubt they can do that.
Because, according to Klitzko, this ultimately remains Putin’s only ambition: “He wants to conquer all of Ukraine.” This war can only be stopped by one person: Putin. But he doesn’t want to. He wants to conquer all of Ukraine, he has a crazy idea that there will be a Soviet empire again. Poland and the Baltic countries have already warned about this. For him, the Soviet empire is much more important than the lives of millions of people.
Ukraine without Ukrainians
Klitschko says that Putin needs Ukraine “as a territory and as a region.” “But without us, without the Ukrainians.” As a result, the Ukrainians had no choice but to fight. “People are angry. So angry that they are ready to defend themselves and fight. It is a difficult situation now, a difficult time. But it is important that we fight for our vision, for our country, for our independence and for our families. We are fighting for a European future and for the democracy of our country.”
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Kyiv currently has a population of 3.6 million, of which 300,000 are refugees. For them, Klitschko has two priorities: security and the work of city services, in short, the infrastructure of city life. But safety is No. 1, though the mayor knows he can’t guarantee that. “The missiles could hit our city any minute.”
Our first priority is safety, and our second is to get all facilities back up and running. Gas, water, light, medicine and education, it works. Despite this natural appearance and peaceful atmosphere, Klitschko points out how warlike the city is. Air strikes, missile strikes, drone strikes. This means that everyone must return to the shelter. The alarm sounded in Kiev 700 times. If you add it up, then each inhabitant has spent more than a month of his life underground.
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