World and Nation

Ukraine makes surprise appearance at Madrid NATO Summit

Klitschko Brothers call for ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Russia

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Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir Klitschko speak to the press at the Madrid Summit about Ukraine, calling on NATO to take action against Russia.
Courtesy of Alex Tran

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir Klitschko made an unannounced appearance Tuesday evening at the NATO Summit in Madrid. 

Wladimir Klitschko criticized NATO for deflecting from the war in Ukraine: “Part of this NATO conference is climate. You cannot imagine what is going on with the modern nation in Ukraine. Nobody cares about anything like that in Ukraine during the war. We don’t have COVID. We don’t have any rules in Ukraine but only one rule: the broken law of war.” 

The Klitschtkos’ appearance comes on the heels of the opening Public Forum, in which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg labeled climate change as the “defining challenge of our time.” Klitschtko responded that “priority and unity around Ukraine” is the “key for peace back in Europe.”

He outlined the threat to NATO with certainty, saying “Wake up guys! This is happening now. You’re gonna be next. This is gonna be knocking on your door, just in the blink of an eye. As Russian propaganda already announced, ‘we will continue rolling on.’”

Klistschko warned that Russia’s actions could be a slippery slope and that “Russia’s going to launch something new.” He proceeded to say that “for real, the next world war is going to happen eventually. So let’s stop it in Ukraine.” He indicated NATO’s response would send a broader signal: “There is international law. It needs to be respect[ed].”

Klistschko asked member states to fight with “whatever it takes,” and said that Russia “needs to be stopped now” whether it takes troops, defensive weapons, or offensive weapons.

Although expected to announce a significant wave of aid in the Comprehensive Assistance Package to Ukraine, NATO has been wary of taking direct action against Russia and instigating a larger war. In particular, Zelenskyy has been calling for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine since near the start of the war, but NATO officials have demurred on taking concrete action.

Klitschko’s comments follow the G7 statement released June 27 affirming that the leaders of the G7 will “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Editor’s note: All quotes in this article from the Klitschko Brothers’ appearance are attributed to Wladimir Klitschko, though both brothers did speak to the press.