By Oyintari Ben
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized the Mayor of Kyiv for what he said was a bad job putting up emergency shelters to help those without electricity or heat after Russian assaults in a rare public debate involving Ukrainian politicians.
Following devastating Russian missile attacks on the power-generating infrastructure, Ukraine has set up tens of thousands of so-called “invincibility centres” where people can get access to heat, water, the internet, and mobile phone connections.
Zelenskyy claimed that Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, and his staff had not done enough to assist in an evening speech.
“Unfortunately, not all cities’ municipal governments have fared successfully. Particularly in Kyiv, there are several concerns. To put it plainly, more effort is required,” he stated, adding that the calibre of services offered in many Kyiv centres was insufficient.
“Pay attention, the people of Kyiv require greater assistance… Many of [them] have been without electricity for twenty or even thirty hours. We demand excellence from the mayor’s office.”
Without providing any specifics, Zelenskyy also criticized those he claimed had falsified in their official reports. So far, more than 4,000 centres have been established.
Zelenskyy typically praises authorities and has worked to build a perception of national unity during the war, so the statements were uncommon.
The Kyiv municipal administration announced early on Saturday that all citywide water connections had been restored, although about 130,000 people were still without electricity.
According to city officials, all water, power, heating, and communication services would be restored within 24 hours.
2014 saw the election of 51-year-old former boxer Vitali Klitschko as mayor of Kyiv.
Klitschko wrote on Telegram that the stations will be open every day and are situated in public buildings like schools and other institutions.
Zelenskyy’s criticism has not received a response from Klitschko. The boxing icon is under more strain than ever.