Ex-world heavyweight boxing champion, Wladimir Klitschko, warns that Russian aggression could spread to the world if not stopped in Ukraine.
Wladimir Klitschko, former world heavyweight boxing champion, has urged the world to stop Russia’s military operation in his country “collectively”, warning that the aggression could spread to the world if not stopped in Ukraine.
The twin brother of the Kyiv mayor, Vitali Klitschko, told Al Jazeera from his hometown on Thursday that some Kyiv residents were fleeing the capital while others were taking weapons to defend “because we chose how we want to live”.
“This is the war in Europe and if we do not stop it collectively, it is going to spread further… God forbid.”
Parallel with Nazi Germany
Klitschko also drew parallels between the attacks Kyiv experienced by Russia and Nazi Germany.
“The last time the city of Kyiv was woken up at 4 o’clock in the morning was in 1941 when the Nazi airplanes were bombing Kyiv,” he said.
“There is an unfortunate parallel with something that has happened this morning. Almost five million people who live in the city as well as myself were woken up due to explosions 4 o’clock in the morning. ”
Klitschko said Ukraine was “the most peaceful nation” and it was “so unfortunate” that its own neighbor was attacking it.
“It is not acceptable,” he said, adding, “This is terrifying and challenging events in the history of Kyiv and the whole of Ukraine.”
Right to defend
Asked about the dangers behind President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s initiative to arm all civilians who want to defend the homeland, Klitschko said the Ukrainians had the right to defend themselves, their freedom and their choice to orient their country away from Russia and in favor of closer ties to NATO and the West.
“It is horrifying to realize that in 2022 something like that [the Russian invasion] could happen, ”he said.
He wished for decisive global action in response to the violence.
“The response should stop this aggression. Whatever the response is. I just wish the world and not just the European Union or Europe is going to do everything to stop the killing of Ukrainians and stop this senseless war, ”Klitschko said.