Hall of fame boxer Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Ukraine’s capital, picks up arm against Russia
Hall of Fame boxer Vitali Klitschko has vowed to fight in the “bloody war” after Russia invaded Ukraine, where he currently serves as the mayor of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
“I don’t have another choice. I have to do that,” Klitschko, 50, told “Good Morning Britain” Thursday. “I would fight.”
Klitschko was sworn in as the mayor of Kyiv and head of the Kyiv City State Administration in 2014, one year after retiring from professional boxing to take on a bigger fight in his native country: “My focus is on politics in Ukraine and I feel the people there need me.”
After weeks of tensions, Russia invaded eastern Ukraine on Thursday morning, with explosions before dawn in Kyiv and other cities. Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that at least 137 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been killed from Russian military attacks, with hundreds more wounded.
“It’s already a bloody war,” Klitschko told “Good Morning Britain.”
Klitschko had called on the Kyiv’s three million people to stay indoors unless they work in critical sectors and said everyone should prepare go-bags with necessities such as medicine and documents.
Zelenskyy announced martial law and offered weapons to anyone who wished to defend the country.
Klitschko’s brother, fellow Hall of Fame boxer Wladimir Klitschko, joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense Brigade earlier this month.
“(Vladimir Putin) makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people,” Wladimir Klitschko, 45, wrote on Linkedin on Thursday. “We will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy.”