The Klitschko brothers spoke to Piers Morgan Uncensored in Ukraine about their fight for their country.
In a candid joint interview with boxing legend Wladimir and Vitali, the Mayor of Kyiv, opened up about being away from their families; standing up to bullies like Putin and the horrors they have witnessed since the start of the invasion. Not pulling their punches, they branded the war a genocide and said they had never seen so many dead bodies before.
The pair admitted they talked everyday and Wladimir joked: “If he needs a hug, I give him one.”
On fighting in the war to defend their home country and life in Kyiv, the brothers explained:
Vitali: Right now, already 150 days, I have a feeling it is one, long, long, long day. Non stop, challenges…
Wladimir: First of all I want to say thank you Mr. Morgan, but you came here because not everyone makes this decision. Understanding you have to take into account that that might be your last trip. You’re not safe when you’re on Ukrainian soil due to the Russian invasion, even though they are in the south and east, Russian military forces and the fights are going on. But just recently, like yesterday we could hear the sounds of artillery explosions, see the death, see the destruction, see buildings, residential buildings, residential buildings on fire. Civilians, children, teenagers tortured, dead. They have been on the ground for at least 10 days, you could see those bodies were laying there for a long time. It is something that cannot possibly be accepted in your mind… I never been in the war. I never saw so many dead people at once. It just makes you feel like you are having a bad dream… And having current life in a city that seems like normal-ish. Normal, you cannot call because you see the barricades and they see more military presence and you see the certain energy and the vibe in people. And just recently the city was empty. The city that was filled up with 5 million people before the war, all of a sudden was empty at the beginning of March. Empty, no cars, no people, no life.
On the scenes they witnessed on the streets of Bucha, they added:
Wladimir: Horrifying… your mind cannot really kind of work through this because it’s just inhuman…You see flattened cars and with children flattened, you see bodies in the car flattened but the tanks. You see people, on their knee with hands tied behind their backs. Teenagers, I don’t know how young, shot in the head executed. You see bodies all over the place between the houses in the streets… everywhere. It’s just like enormous amount of death that was silent. But it’s also shocking with the destruction that that was all around all around the city.
Vitali: [Russia] needs Ukrainian territory. But they don’t need the population…They want to kill everyone. They want to occupy territory and they want to kill the people… In Bucha, I’ll never forget these images… an old woman, a grandma, more than 70 years old, shot, killed… Just one explanation is not the it’s not a war is genocide.
On their countrymen staying to fight and asking for guns, they said:
Vitali: Yeah, I’m very proud to be Ukrainian because the Russians attack and destroy the cities and they expect the people will be in panic. They thought people will be depressed. Instead, the people are angry and will have a huge will to defend our city, our homes, our families… our wish [was] to be the part of European family to build a modern European country. The Russians never accepted our wish. And Putin wanted to rebuild Russian and Soviet Empire. Everyone has to clearly understand that. The reason of this senseless war was… we see our future as part of European family as Democratic free country Ukraine and we fighting right now for the future, for our country, for our children. We don’t want to live in the country with no human rights, no press freedom, no democratic rights…”
On why Russian propaganda will not work in the modern age, they added:
Wladimir: I believe back in Soviet times, it was easier to hide the truth. Now it’s more complicated due to globalism and internet, and different sources where people can get information and make their own choice. It is complicated and complex, but we’ve seen that for over a decade, the system for propaganda in Russia was well prepared and worked well. Not just in Russia, but in the rest of the world, because Russian sponsored state media is still even now transmitting the messages the news… sick lies… but it will not end well for Russian propaganda you cannot hide the truth for too long. You can’t and it’s just matter of time. I just wish this time is going to not last for too long.”
On being apart from their families to fight, they admitted:
Vitali: Yes, we sent the rest of our family to safe place… A long time ago, six months ago.. Thanks to technology, we make video conference [calls]. We talk everyday… It’s tough. But Wladimir is here watching my back.
Wladimir: If he needs a hug, I give him one, or the other way round.
On whether they are prepared to die for their country, they added:
Wladimir: The simplest thing you can do is die for your country. You know what is the most complicated is? Live. That means fight for life, protect your people, protect your country… you feel like you are going to run to your death, so to speak, just to end this misery. But no the strength is, of us Ukrainians, is that we don’t want to die even though a lot already have been killed or totrued or raped. And now still putting life on the line but living for your country is more complicated and more challenging… We stay strong, we stay alive and we fight for a choice.
On why the war is a threat to Europe, Vitali said:
This war can touch everyone… Ukrainian is one of the largest countries in Europe, and instability in Ukraine can bring instability to the whole region. And please don’t forget Ukraine has five nuclear plants, one of them one of the biggest, largest nuclear plants in Ukraine was on fire… [it could be] bigger than Chernobyl catastrophe. This war can touch everyone on the planet.
The brothers showed Piers a jar of pennies given by a six year old boy in a bid to help the war effort and Ukrainian children. Vitali added: “I want to give this money back to this boy when the war is finished… small boy, big heart.”
On one of the most harrowing events they have witnessed was a small boy who did not know he had lost both his parents.
On why they have to ‘bully, the bully” Putin and stand up to Russian aggression:
Wladimir: I believe there are parallels with Nazi Germany… because [the Russian people] they are victims of the situation and they scared to death, to say anything against the will of their government. So in a certain way, it is the Western world, being afraid, scared or coward…
So ‘bully, the bully’ – that’s the saying we have in boxing. You have an opponent wearing the gloves and if you’re gonna let him do whatever he wants to do? He is really good at doing whatever he wants to do… You have to bully the bully. If you take a step back, you just make the bully stronger.
The brothers said they spoke to each other every day. Vitali joked he was told to take care of his little brother from the beginning. On whether they fought when they were little, they said:
Wladimir: No, no. I was smart enough to realise as a five year younger he was 15 I was 10 what’s the chances? So I was waiting!
Vitali: I mean, if he was right now it’s not a good idea to fight the younger brother. He’s strong enough.
They pair concluded:
Wladimir: I’ll be very honest, obviously family and all the personal stuff which shouldn’t be public. But I will say that this war showed as well as three years of being an athlete that focus agility, coordination and endurance are important. Principles in family life, in sport, in politics, and also in the war. These equalities is what we Ukrainians have… and we Ukrainians showing face to the challenge and we the free world will stand together with Ukraine against this aggression and show that the good will always conquer the evil…Please we need the support so, so, so much.
Vitali: Because we’re fighting and defending not just our families, our children. We’re defending the free world. What we have we fighting for every one of you.
Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Monday to Thursday, 8pm (Sky 526, Virgin Media 627, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 and Sky Glass 508) and live and on demand on the TalkTV app and at Talk.TV
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