The Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko has alleged that Ukrainian authorities had gravely underestimated the risk of a Russian military offensive in early 2022. The official told Der Spiegel that his calls at the time to beef up the capital city’s civil defense had fallen on deaf ears.
In an interview with the German media outlet published on Friday, Klitschko lamented that, while he had “drummed for the civil defense” and had been insisting that Ukraine “must prepare itself,” the government kept saying that “everything will be alright” not long before Russia launched its military operation in late February.
According to the mayor, some even criticized him at the time for “fomenting panic.”
He went on to claim that these attitudes were widespread among Ukrainian officials, despite warnings from Western and Ukrainian experts.