The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitscho and his brother, Wladimir, on a Sunday appearance of CNN’s “State of the Union,” vowed never to “give up” fighting for Ukraine, even as Russian forces continue to close in.
Mayor Klitscho said, “Russians are targeting Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and they are ready to fight to defend their city against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces. Wladimir added, “The country’s people are fully motivated and prepared to end the war.”
“There is nothing that possibly can break the will of our women and men,” Wladimir also said. “We all stand together and we’re highly motivated to defend our country because this is our home. This is where our children work, go to school, this is our home. There’s no other way that we’re going to leave. And why, because this is our home. So, we’ll defend the country.”
Mayor Klitscho added, “The key to ending the war is for everyone to stand in unity and sanction political pressure against Russia.
Host Dana Bash asked whether the mayor is concerned about Russia potentially attacking with chemical weapons.
The Mayor answered, “Of course, we’re worried. Putin said this was just a war against military forces, we can see thousands of civilians and also children died. Just a couple of minutes ago we received information that the journalist (from America) has also died. This war is against all the Ukrainian population. We don’t know how long this war will be but we don’t want to give up. It’s a principled question for us.”
Bash then cited reports of Russian forces taking mayors captive, then asked the Mayor, “Are you concerned about being a target?”
“Yes, of course. Right now, every Ukrainian is a target,” he continued. “Every Ukrainian. And Russians say it’s not a war against civilians. Every mayor represents a community. I don’t worry about me, I am ready to fight and ready to defend the interest of citizens.”
The Washington Post reported, “Ukrainian officials accused Russia of abducting two mayors in order to replace them with pro-Russian leaders. Ukraine President Volodymy Zelenskyy said, “Officials kidnapped the Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, who had encouraged demonstrations against the invasion.”
Zelensky called the kidnapping of Fedorova “crime against democracy” and warned that Russian forces have entered “a new state of terror” in a Saturday address, according to the Post.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, accused Russia of taking the Mayor of Dniprorudne, Yevhen Matveyev, captive on Sunday.
The United Nations reported Saturday of 1,581 civilian casualties, including at least 579 deaths, including 42 children, though the actual number are much higher.