Skip to content
Edit post

Klitschko says Ukraine is turning authoritarian as conflict with Zelensky persists

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 3, 2023 1:07 AM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has told Der Spiegel that Ukraine is moving towards authoritarianism, seemingly making a veiled criticism of President Volodymyr Zelensky.  

"At some point we will no longer be any different from Russia, where everything depends on the whim of one man," the former heavyweight boxing champion said in a Dec. 1 interview.

Zelensky's spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

The Kyiv mayor said that Ukraine was leaderless and chaotic in the opening months of the full-scale war, and credited Ukraine's mayors with playing key leadership roles, protecting their residents and supporting the military.    

But Klitschko believes the President's Office sees mayors merely as an atavistic obstacle to the centralization of power.    

Despite being the mayor of Ukraine's capital, Klitschko said he hasn't talked to Zelensky since the full-scale invasion began.  

Zelensky's administration has been none too pleased with Klitschko's handling of Kyiv's protection since February 2022. Their public comments repeatedly took the mayor to task for the poor conditions of the city's bomb shelters and prolonged blackouts.  

Klitschko and Zelensky have been at odds since the president's first year in office. The conflict has played out in repeated investigations and attempts to remove the mayor from the Kyiv City State Administration.

How Zelensky’s administration moves to dismantle press freedom in Ukraine
When President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Servant of the People party swept into power in 2019, the president’s office famously said it “doesn’t need journalists.” Instead, Andriy Bohdan, the head of the president’s office at the time, said that Zelensky’s team could communicate “directly” with the
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.