Ukraine boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko sends plea to 'entire world' to 'act now' to stop Russian aggression - WATCH
'Don't wait, act now' says the brother of the Kyiv mayor, Vitali Klitschko
Ukrainian boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko has called on global leaders to 'act now' to 'stop the war' with Russia.
"I am addressing the entire world to stop this war that Russia has started.
"Just today, civilians were shot with rockets... it's happening in the heart of Europe.
"There is no time to wait, because that's going to lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.
"You need to act now to stop Russian aggression, with anything you can have now.
"In an hour or by tomorrow's it's going to be too late.
"Please get into action now."
This comes as his brother, Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said the people of his city are "full of fight."
In an interview with the Associated Press (AP) on Sunday, after a gruelling night of Russian attacks on the outskirts of the city, mayor Vitali Klitschko was silent for several seconds when asked if there were plans to evacuate civilians if Russian troops managed to take Kyiv.
“We can’t do that, because all ways are blocked,” he finally said.
“Right now we are encircled.”
When Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Thursday, the city of 2.8 million people initially reacted with concern but also a measure of self-possession.
However, nerves started fraying when grocery stores began closing and the city’s famously deep subway system turned its stations into bomb shelters.
The mayor confirmed that nine civilians in Kyiv had been killed so far, including one child.
A Klitschko-ordered curfew began at about sundown on Saturday and is to extend until at least 8am on Monday.
His order pointedly stated that any unauthorised person outside could be considered a saboteur.
“We are hunting these people, and it will be much easier if nobody is on the street,” Mr Klitschko explained, saying that six Russian “saboteurs” were killed on Saturday night.
Russian troops’ advance on the city has been slower than many military experts had expected.
“I just talked to the president (Volodymyr Zelensky). Everybody is not feeling so well,” Mr Klitschko said, adding that the Ukrainian city government employees were in shock but not depressed.
“We show our character, our knowledge, our values.”
In the last few days, long queues of people – both men and women – were spotted waiting to pick up weapons throughout the capital, after authorities decided to distribute weapons freely to anybody ready to defend the city.
There are concerns, however, about arming nervous civilians with little military experience amid warnings of Russian saboteurs disguised as Ukrainian police or journalists.
“To be honest, we don’t have 100% control,” said Mr Klitschko.