Following a deadly incident during a Russian attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded a comprehensive review of all the nation’s air raid shelters.
The incident, which resulted in the death of a mother, her nine-year-old daughter, and another woman, occurred when they could not access a Kyiv shelter, consequently getting caught in the attack. Zelensky publicly denounced the negligence that led to their deaths and vowed that ministers would be tasked with performing an exhaustive audit of bomb shelters.
According to the Interior Ministry’s statement on Telegram, authorities have detained four individuals in connection with the fatal incident, with the potential for charges of official negligence to be levied against three of them. The calamity stirred public outrage, inciting President Zelensky to promise a stern response, seemingly directed towards Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko. Zelenskiy pointed out that Kyiv’s residents have been voicing complaints about the availability and functionality of shelters within the city.
Acknowledging his share of responsibility, Klitschko, the former world champion boxer and current mayor of Kyiv, did not shy away from shifting part of the blame onto others, particularly allies of President Zelensky. He argued that shelter expenditure in Kyiv’s districts, primarily controlled by Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party members, was grossly inadequate. He emphasized that the military administration was under the purview of a presidential appointee. As a consequence, Klitschko proposed that there should be a “common and fair responsibility,” suggesting potential dismissals of district heads following an evaluation of shelter maintenance funds.
This is not the first time such a disagreement has occurred between Zelensky and Klitschko. Back in November, Zelensky criticized Klitschko for his efforts in establishing emergency shelters for individuals without access to power and heat, indicating a sustained tension between the two figures. In his response to the current situation, Klitschko declared that he would not tolerate any form of “sabotage,” stating that the districts of the capital “are not separate principalities where you can walk around in white gloves and neglect your duties.”