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Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko: 'Please stay with Ukraine'

Rebecca Staudenmaier
October 31, 2022

In an interview with DW, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital said Russian forces are behaving like "terrorists" by targeting key infrastructure. He urged EU leaders not to give up their support.

Vitali Klitschko speaks with reporters following a drone strike on Kyiv
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko spoke with DW following renewed Russian strikes on infrastructure across UkraineImage: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, appealed for European countries to continue their support of Ukraine in an interview with DW on Monday.

Over 80% of consumers in Kyiv were left without water on Monday, and some 350,000 apartments were without power, Klitschko said.

Speaking with DW anchor Phil Gayle, the Ukrainian politician also said the latest barrage of attacks on infrastructure is part of a ploy by Moscow to stoke discontent among everyday Ukrainians.

'We are defending every one of you in Europe'

With governments around Europe facing mounting public pressure over rising inflation and energy costs, Klitschko urged European Union leaders to maintain the vital political and economic aid that Ukraine has been receiving.

"Please stay with Ukraine. It's very important for us. Because we are fighting and defending not just our homes and our country. We are defending every one of you in Europe," he told DW.

The 51-year-old former heavyweight boxing champion became the mayor of Kyiv in 2014 in the wake of the Euromaidan protest movement which ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. 

"We are fighting for the same democratic values," Klitschko said in the Monday interview, warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin won't stop at invading Ukraine.

"It's no secret that Putin present himself as someone who collect the former properties of Russia. To rebuild Soviet Empire, the Russian Empire."

Strikes show change in Russian tactics

Klitschko also said he believes Moscow is deliberately targeting civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine due to setbacks on the front lines.

"The Russians change tactic. They didn't succeed on the front line and right now they try to destroy critical infrastructure," he said.

Attacks on infrastructure in Kyiv have left hundreds of thousands of apartments without electricity and water. Talking to DW, Klitschko said Russian forces were behaving like "terrorists."

"And the people are very angry about that, and we are ready to defend our houses, our cities and our homeland," Klitschko said.

On Monday, Ukrainian authorities said that the country had been hit by "more than 50" Russian cruise missiles.

A similar wave of Russian strikes on Ukrainian cities took place at the beginning of October after an explosion on the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to Russia.

The missile strikes come as Ukrainian forces remain focused on liberating Russia-occupied territories and preventing Moscow's troops from seizing new regions.

Interview conducted by: Phil Gayle

Edited by: Darko Janjevic