Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko. Photo/REUTERS
The official told Der Spiegel his call at the time to improve the capital’s civil defense went on deaf ears.
In an interview with German media published on Friday, Klitschko complained that while he was “pushing through civil defense” and insisting that Ukraine “should prepare”, the government had continued to say “everything will be fine” not long before Russia launched its military operation at the end of February.
According to the Kyiv mayor, some officials even criticized him at the time for “inciting panic”.
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He went on to say that this attitude is widespread among Ukrainian officials, despite warnings from Western and Ukrainian experts.
Despite indications of a premeditated attack dating back to late 2021, the Ukrainian government is still “shocked at how quickly Russia has reached” Kiev, according to Klitschko.
Kyiv’s mayor acknowledged that there was a sense of panic and chaos in the Ukrainian capital in the first 24 hours of the Russian attack.
When asked who he held responsible for the mess, he said: “Now is not the time to look for the culprits.”
According to him, all flaws and mistakes will be analyzed “after the victory”.