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Kiev mayor says Ukrainian capital is encircled

The Ukrainian capital has been encircled and the evacuation of civilians is impossible now, Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday.

"We can't do that, because all ways are blocked," Klitschko said in reply to a question if there were plans to evacuate civilians from Kiev. "Right now we are encircled."

"I just talked to the president (of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky - TASS). Everybody is not feeling so well," Klitschko said.

The mayor admitted that the capital's authorities were not in full control of volunteer battalions of territorial defense, who had been provided with weapons. "To be honest, we don't have 100% control," said Klitschko. "We built this territorial defense in a short amount of time -- but these are patriotic people."

"We are at the border of a humanitarian catastrophe. Right now, we have electricity, right now we have water and heating in our houses. But the infrastructure is destroyed to deliver the food and medication," he stated.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. Its objective is demilitarization and denazification of the country.

When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.

After that the US, the EU, the UK and a number of other states declared tough sanctions against Russia.

[Source: Tass, New York, 27Feb22]

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