Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, has received widespread praise for his response to Russian claims that it has only been 'targeting military targets'.
However, as the fighting enters its 21st day, the country has seen a civilian death tally that has eclipsed the count from the 2014 war.
Klitschko's response to a reporter questioning him about Russia's claims that its forces are 'only targeting military targets' has seen the mayor go viral online and rallied around in support. The clip contains some strong language.
One of the all-time greatest interviews. pic.twitter.com/D7HqCeDNdy— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) March 16, 2022
In an interview with 7news reporter Chris Reason – which has since been dubbed 'one of the all-time greatest interviews ever' – Klitschko called Russia's claims 'b******t'.
He said: "Where is the military target?”
After pointing to a bombed residential building located next to him, he questions: "This building is a military target?"
Russia claims its only hitting military targets. What does the Kyiv Mayor say to that? "BULLSHIT!" he spits. A former boxing champion, Vitale Klitschko delivers knockout sound bites that get straight to the point. Feel free to share #Ukraine #Kyiv pic.twitter.com/GvFs7ZWIUz— Chris Reason (@ChrisReason7) March 16, 2022
Reason reflected on the mayor as having delivered 'knockout sound bites that get straight to the point', urging others to share the footage online.
Twitter users were similarly supportive and complimentary of Klitschko's response. One wrote: "Love that man!"
"Gotta love truth speakers and boy does he tell it," another wrote.
A third commented: "Vitali is a legend. He could be anywhere in the world, but he's fighting for his country. LEGEND."
Klitschko has also gained the support of film star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Taking to Twitter, the 74-year-old wrote: "Vitali and Wladimir @Klitschko, I am thinking of you, my friends. You were my heroes in the ring and you’re my heroes now."
Despite the attacks on citizens – with at least 200 having been killed according to a report on 3 March – Russia has continued to claim that it will not attack civilians.
As well as Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that 'nobody is going to attack the people of Ukraine' and that there would be 'no strikes on civilian infrastructure', as per CNN.
In another interview, Klitschko pressed that civilians have been left even more determined to defend their country as a result of the ongoing attacks.
He told Sky News: "We see the result of bombing, and civilian people dying. The spirit right now, everyone's angry. I talk to the people and they don't want to leave.
"This activity has brought much more energy to everyone and everyone understands they don't want to leave. We want to defend our city. We want to defend our houses."
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@PhilipinDC