For the ninth year in a row, it’s earlier World heavyweight boxing championVitali Klitschko, 50, mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
In a move with the increasingly tense conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the 50-year-old took part in military exercises with Ukrainian forces.
The former boxer says he “sees Putin and Russia as a cold fire hitting Europe,” writes telegraph.
– Ready to fight
in a comment in german photo Klitschko wrote that he was personally ready to fight for the Motherland.
“As a soldier, I once swore to defend my country, and now I am ready to fight for it,” he writes.
Moreover, the mayor wrote that “all over the country they are preparing for the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin can issue a war order and that Russian forces will attack Ukraine, as in 2014.”
Russia has beefed up a force of about 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine in recent months, and Klitschko fears an armed conflict could break out. He describes it as an unparalleled threat.
– In my hometown of Kiev, we are preparing for the possibility of an emergency, and as mayor, I organize the protection of civilians. Klitschko writes: We have stepped up the work of recruiting and training the Reserve Forces.
– lack of help
According to an article published yesterday in telegraphMayor Klitschko says he now “feels that Germany has betrayed Ukraine, while the Russian threat is constantly growing”.
The mayor claimed that Putin’s supporters had political control over a number of issues in Germany.
The NTB writes that the tricky point in the relationship between Germany and other Western allies is Berlin’s opposition to sending weapons to Ukraine.
Another sore point in the Ukraine crisis is the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, where there is disagreement within the government. The pipeline, which runs directly from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, has been completed, but is awaiting approval by German regulatory authorities. It could double deliveries of Russian gas to Germany, and bypass deliveries through Ukraine.
In a column in Bild newspaper on Monday, Mayor Klitschko wrote that Ukraine regards these decisions as a great disappointment.
– This is a lack of help and betrayal of friends in a tragic situation, in which our country is threatened by Russian forces on several borders, writes the former boxer.
He described Germany’s support for Ukraine as a “joke”. Germany decided to send 5,000 helmets to the Ukrainian defense. Ukraine requested ammunition and weapons.
– What then? pillows? Klitschko writes.
– No concessions
According to the emeritus professor, Hallvard Tjelmeland of UiT, Ukraine – or Kiev for that matter – has no military chance against Russia.
– What the mayor of Kiev says or does not mean anything military. Tgemelland told Dagbladet that Ukraine alone would not be able to stand up to Russia.
The professor, who is, among other things, an expert on the Cold War – globally and in the context of the Upper North, as well as Norwegian-Soviet/Russian relations, says he does not believe that Russia will launch a systematic attack on the country.
– I don’t think it is likely that they will train with large forces to bring about regime change in Ukraine, says Tjelmeland.
– If so, what could be the intention of the mayor to undertake such difficulty?
– I think it is mostly about maintaining a hard line against Russia, toughening those in the West, the professor answers, and continues:
– The mayor represents that part of the population of Ukraine who does not want to escalate the conflict with the aim of finding compromises. He’s betting that the West is behind him, and therefore has tough language.
– He clarifies that he is not open to attempts to create a climate for a solution that includes the interests of both Ukraine and Russia, he adds.
Not everyone in Ukraine shares Mayor Klitschko’s views, Tjelmeland points out.
– It represents the western part of Ukraine, that is, the most anti-Russian part. There are other forces in the country that want to reduce the size of the conflict. He says public opinion here is very polarized.
He also points out that the current government in Ukraine has not yet shown any willingness to compromise with the Russians.
“Maybe the president isn’t as tough as the mayor of Kiev,” says Telmland.
– What is Ukraine doing now?
– They are preparing for all possibilities because no one knows what Putin is preparing. The professor answers: Nobody knows exactly what Putin’s plan is.
Putin has stated that it is unacceptable for countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union to become members of NATO, and therefore Ukraine and Georgia are basically what he refers to.
The question is whether the driving force behind this requirement is security policy, or expansionism, as Tjelmeland points out.
– Putin himself was clear that this is a security policy. At the same time, no one knows what Putin actually thinks. The professor says he has clear complex motives.
– common interest
Professor Telmeland points out that Germany is the country that attacked Russia twice in two world wars. He believes that today’s Germany views the conflict differently from many other Western countries.
– The gas pipeline will solve an energy problem for Germany, and for Russia it means that gas exports pass through Ukraine. So both countries have an interest in building it, says Telleland.
– Some will say that the need for power supplies controls Germany in that they do not want to send weapons, but I do not consider it that way, he continues.
He says his assessment is that Germany favors concessions, and that they want a political solution, along the lines of France – and perhaps also the current Norwegian government.
Germany and France negotiated the Minsk II Agreement with Russia and hope for a solution that could be acceptable to both Ukraine and Russia. This presupposes that moderate forces in Ukraine are having influence, which is not the case as long as the main powers are fully focused on future NATO membership, the professor explains.
The mayor of Kiev claims they face an unparalleled threat. Is he right or is he wrong?
It’s hard to say, but I’m sure that the threat becomes more and more real as the conflict escalates, and that the building of Russian power is met with rhetoric associated with confronting it militarily.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”