Former heavyweight boxing champion and current Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko called for a partial evacuation of the city due to cuts in power allegedly caused by Russian strikes.
“If you have relatives or friends in the suburbs of Kyiv who have a separate water supply, a stove, and heating, plan to stay there temporarily,” he said in comments quoted by The Telegraph. Kiev and several other cities are reportedly facing continuously planned blackouts in a hail-mary effort to calm Ukraine’s degraded energy grid with some 450,000 apartments facing no power at all.
Klitschko said Ukrainians should “make arrangements so that in the event of a bad scenario, you can stay with your friends or acquaintances.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed that over 4.5 million people living in the nation have no access to power.
“The terrorist state is concentrating forces and means for a possible repetition of mass attacks on our infrastructure,” he said, referencing Russia.
Zelensky has been known to make claims surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war in the past that have ultimately proven to be false.
A glaring example of this is after a hoax media story about Ukrainian border guards stationed in Ukraine’s Snake Island, located in the Black Sea south of Odessa.
“… a Russian warship ordered [the Ukrainians] to surrender under threat of attack,” Alejandro Alvarez, a journalist who pushed the false story, posted online.
“Their response: ‘Russian warship, go fuck yourself.’ They held their ground. All 13 were killed.”
A group of Ukrainian border guards were stationed on Snake Island, in the Black Sea south of Odessa, when a Russian warship ordered them to surrender under threat of attack.
Their response: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."
They held their ground. All 13 were killed. pic.twitter.com/GMRsXQRSX0
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) February 25, 2022
Despite outlets such as Newsweek continuing to publish the false story, it was later admitted a hoax by some mainstream outlets such as the New York Post.
Zelensky himself promoted the fraudulent story, saying to Ukrainian outlet Pravada at the time, “All the border guard guards died heroically defending our Snake Island. They didn’t give in.”
“Each of them will be awarded the Hero of Ukraine medal posthumously,” he added.
The tale of the “Ghost of Kyiv,” which was pushed by Ukrainian officials, was also exposed as a complete myth.
Kiev’s mayor warned the Ukrainian people that a more large-scale evacuation may be inbound.
“We are doing everything to avoid this. But let’s be frank, our enemies are doing everything for the city to be without heat, without electricity, without water supply, in general, so we all die,” Klitschko said, asserting that “the future of the country and the future of each of us depends on how prepared we are for different situations.”
“Putin does not need us Ukrainians. He needs the region, he needs a Ukraine without us,” he added.