Vitali Klitschko

Kyiv Mayor Rails Against Authoritarian Volodymyr Zelensky for Using Russian War to Centralize Power

(Discern Reporter)—Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the former heavyweight boxing champion, has voiced concerns about Ukraine sliding into authoritarianism amid the ongoing war with Russia.

In an interview with German news website Der Speigel published on Friday, Klitschko criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s approach, stating that the country might eventually resemble Russia, where power is concentrated in one person’s hands.

According to the Kyiv Independent, Klitschko accused Zelenskyy’s office of viewing mayors as obstacles preventing the centralization of power. Serving as the mayor of Kyiv since June 2014, Klitschko commended Ukraine’s mayors for their strong leadership in protecting citizens. He highlighted the chaotic and leaderless situation in Ukraine during the early months of the war.

Klitschko revealed that he and Zelenskyy have not communicated since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, underscoring the apparent rift between them. The strained relationship became public in November 2022 when Klitschko criticized Zelenskyy over the conditions of emergency shelters intended to assist residents amid Russian bombings.

Following a tragic incident in June, where three people were locked outside an air raid shelter and killed during a Russian attack, Zelenskyy ordered an audit. The audit revealed that only 15% of Kyiv’s 4,655 bomb shelters were suitable, and only 44% were freely accessible, as reported by Reuters at the time.

Klitschko accepted some responsibility for the incident but asserted that Zelenskyy’s appointees were also accountable. He accused political opponents of working to discredit him and secure his removal from office.

Article generated from corporate media reports.