Natalia Klitschko tells Markus Lanz: “Vitali and Wladimir have become real warriors and men”

It is the 28th day of the war in Ukraine. Natalia Klitschko wears mourning. Black t-shirt, black skirt. The Hamburg-based artist is the wife of Kiev’s mayor Vitali Klitschko, who has been defending his city since the beginning of the war. “The kids ask for dad every day,” she says. Your gaze is tired. When she talks, her eyes get watery again and again. Concern for boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir “is constantly in the air,” she says. “Vitali and Vladimir are on the front line. They’ve really grown up. Wow, they’ve become real warriors and men!” Their faces reflect suffering, anger and sadness. The war is so unfair. Natalia Klitschko says that every morning she gets a little message on her cell phone that Vitali is still alive. “You get used to it. Every next day could be the last.”

In the video above you can see Natalia demonstrating in Hamburg for peace in Ukraine.

Natalia Klitschko: “But we will never be slaves again”

Natalia Klitschko’s bitterness is noticeable. There is also still a hint of disbelief that Putin actually invaded their country. “It’s genocide against the Ukrainian people. And it’s an absolute lie that they don’t attack civilian targets.” The singer knows that her husband and brother-in-law are on Putin’s death list. “They are at the top of the list, but I know they will never leave Ukraine. They will fight.” Ukrainians are strong people. “It’s deep in the roots of history.” For hundreds of years, Ukrainians have been oppressed and treated as slaves. “But we will never be slaves again. We fought for freedom and democracy,” she emphasizes. “I feel in every cell that I’m Ukrainian, that I’m part of this great people.” The will to democracy is in the air. “We will never get on our knees again. Not even before the dictatorship.”

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: “Only strength brings Putin to the negotiating table”

The former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who lives in exile in Britain, also spoke about his longstanding commitment to a political change of direction in Russia and Putin’s calculations for power. “We are dealing with a bandit. If someone takes a defensive action, that is weakness for him. Only strength brings Putin to the negotiating table.” The businessman is therefore in favor of a no-fly zone, even if NATO runs the risk of being drawn into the Putin war. “Putin doesn’t want to achieve anything at the negotiating table. That’s weakness. In order to conduct realistic negotiations, you have to show strength.” In his view, the escalation of the war is inevitable. Putin does not invade Moldova because the country is “too small for him”. But Poland and the Baltics are high on his list.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky with Markus Lanz: “Everything depends on the Ukrainian people”

“Another war is inevitable,” says Khodorkovsky. “In the course of his career as president he has four times solved his position with war. I don’t think it will be any different the fifth time.” But he also believes that a lost war means the end of Putin’s presidency. “There is only a lost war between Putin and his end. Everything depends on the Ukrainian people and the attitude of the West.” The West must now become even tougher. After all, an aggressor had already been appeased and Germany and the world had paid dearly for it. “It was a pleasant surprise that the West showed great solidarity and imposed tough sanctions. However, I’m surprised that the sanctions didn’t go all the way to the end.” Some Russian banks have been spared and the support during the war does not go far enough for him.

Journalist Vitvitska: “I’m in the right place here”

Journalist Solomiya Vitvitska is a news presenter for the Ukrainian private channel “Eins plus Eins”. It provides information about the current situation as far as Russia directly from a garage basement in Kyiv. In this way, she and her comrades-in-arms try to undermine the propaganda. Kyiv is bombed every day, she says. Just ten minutes ago there would have been another air raid alarm. The broadcasters in Ukraine are now all working together. There is no longer any competition from the media. You help each other. Solomiya Vitvitska is sure that she will stay in Kyiv until the end. “We’re staying. Our army is strong. I’ve decided to stay here. I’m in the right place here.”

Anyone who gives their life for democracy and the existence of their country has perhaps also earned a certain right to demand something from other states. In recent weeks, many Ukrainians have publicly demanded more weapons and even tougher sanctions from Germany. Vitvitska also vents. “I am shocked that Germany is so weak. Children are slaughtered here. This weakness made the war possible. The billions for Russia made the war possible. Now is no time for discussions. Please send everything you have here.” Perhaps the reaction is understandable in view of the death and destruction in their country, but this mixture of accusation and demands, which is practiced again and again, is sometimes annoying.

Natalia Klitschko at Markus Lanz: “Go back as soon as possible”

Natalia Klitschko praises the willingness of Germans to take in Ukrainian refugees in the country. But she also says that many of her compatriots “feel lost here”” They wonder what they can do and how they can can help. They feel lost here. But they have to integrate soon and feel valuable,” explains the wife of the mayor of Kyiv, adding: “Everyone who comes to Germany would like to go back as soon as possible.”