San Antonio, Texas, is a long way from Kyiv, Ukraine, but the spirit of the Alamo was alive and kicking Sunday in the battered Ukrainian city that is now surrounded by Russian troops.
When asked during an interview about evacuation plans, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko admitted Sunday that the war for his city is one with no escape.
“We can’t do that because all ways are blocked,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “Right now we are encircled.”
Kyiv mayor: City is surrounded, making evacuation impossible. It is now Ukraine’s Alamo. https://t.co/VZSSOsQx96
— John Fund (@johnfund) February 27, 2022
“We show our character, our knowledge, our values,” he said by persevering in a battle that has denied Russia control of the Ukrainian capital city.
In recent days, anyone who can fire a gun or throw a Molotov cocktail has been urged to come forward, with many residents doing just that.
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Klitschko said the will to fight is offset by an improvised defense.
“To be honest, we don’t have 100 percent control,” said Klitschko. “We built this territorial defense in a short amount of time — but these are patriotic people.”
“Right now, the most important question is to defend our country,” he added.
An 80-year-old showed up to join the Ukrainian army, carrying with him a small case with 2 t-shirts, a pair of extra pants, a toothbrush and a few sandwiches for lunch. He said he was doing it for his grandkids. 🇺🇦#Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar #Ukrinian #Kyiv #Zelensky #Anonymous pic.twitter.com/tjMwHgrndm
— IT Army of Ukraine (@ItArmyOfUkraine) February 26, 2022
Klitschko offered no sunshine when asked about the realities of his city.
“We are at the border of a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said. “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.”
But the former heavyweight champion said the fight is not over.
Live on the scene from Southeast Kyiv. This residential building suffered massive damage. Trying to gather facts on what happened. This is 15 minutes from where I live. pic.twitter.com/VzIkxXy0SX
— Terrell Jermaine Starr (@terrelljstarr) February 25, 2022
“That’s why the message for everyone is: Support Ukraine together … We are strong,” he said. “Every Ukrainian is proud to be independent, proud to be Ukrainian, and we are proud to have our own country.”
Pride and grit have slowed the Russian advance, as have Kyiv’s efforts to kill those who come in the night to destroy.
“We are hunting these people, and it will be much easier if nobody is on the street,” Klitschko said, adding that six Russian “saboteurs” were killed Saturday night.
A look at some of the damage seen Saturday in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. The city was reportedly under heavy attack by Russian forces early the following day. pic.twitter.com/rSyWvLB4xX
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 27, 2022
“They lied when they said they would not target civilian population. Since the first hours of the invasion, Russian troops have been hitting civilian infrastructure,” he said, adding, “This is terror.”
“They are fighting against everything and everyone,” Zelenskyy said. “They are [hitting] kindergartens, residential buildings and even emergency vehicles. They use artillery and missiles against whole residential blocks where there have never have been any military infrastructure. Many Ukrainian cities and towns are surviving in conditions we previously had only during the World War II.”