KYIV, Ukraine — As Russian troops draw closer to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv’s mayor is both filled with pride over his citizens’ spirit and anxious about how long they can hold out.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, after a grueling night of Russian attacks on the outskirts of the city, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there were no plans to evacuate civilians if Russian troops managed to take Kyiv.
“We can’t do that, because all ways are blocked,” he 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 to the AP that nine civilians in Kyiv had been killed so far, including one child.