A One-Two Punch

It’s not only Ukrainian President Zelensky that is appealing to the world for more weapons to fight off the Russian aggressors. Wladimir Klitschko, Ukrainian boxing legend and two-time world heavyweight champion, joined the Ukrainian Army at age 46 to help defend his country.

Wladimir Klitschko (right), shown here with his brother Vitali, the mayor of Kyiv, recently enlisted in the Ukrainian army to defend his home country against Russia. Image Credit: abc.com

Klitschko is trading in his boxing gloves for an AK-74 (yes, I mean 74). He’s using his fame as a two-time world heavyweight boxing champion to build a platform to plead to the world for more weapons. He says quite clearly:

“We cannot defend our country with fists. First and mostly, we need weapons.”

He made his statements during an interview Sunday with ABC News. Next to him was his older brother Vitali, the mayor of Kyiv. The ex-boxer urged the world to pull their support from Russia, noting:

“Every cent and every trade that you do with Russia and every cent that Russia is getting, they’re using for weapons to kill us Ukrainians.”

Body Count

As SOFREP has been reporting, Ukraine has been under constant attack since late February. The latest United Nations count estimates that more than 1,800 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since hostilities began. A number of those have been children.

President Zelinsky feels the actual death toll is much high. He has claimed numerous times that the loss of life in the mostly destroyed city of Mariupol alone is in “the tens of thousands.” 

In an address to the South Korean Parliament Monday, he reiterated:

“Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive.”

Workers take bodies from a mass grave and put them in body bags for transport to a morgue. Image credit: Rodrigo Abd/AP

Words From an Average Citizen

Irina is a middle-aged woman from the eastern Ukrainian town of Dnipro. She has escaped the fighting of her homeland for the safety of Krakow, Poland, but she has tears streaming down her flushed face as she tells her story.

“I have lost my home. Friends have been killed. My husband is in Ukraine fighting. They are killing men, women and children. For what reason?” she said. “And why isn’t the world helping?”

She tries to say more, but she is overcome by emotion. The receptionist in the hotel where Irina is staying hands her a box of tissues. Irina blots her bloodshot eyes.

This isn’t the moment for some well-meaning westerner to step in saying how the world is actually doing quite a bit, how Russia is enduring sanctions and boycotts, and the world is donating money and goods to Ukraine. She already knows that, but it doesn’t stop the pain.

More needs to be done. More money, more weapons, and more support are needed to keep Ukraine free and allow Irina, and millions like her, to return home where they belong.