Vitali Klitschko Says Kyiv Only Has Resources for Two Weeks as Russia Encircles City

The mayor of Kyiv has said that the city has resources for "maybe two weeks" as Russian forces encircle the Ukrainian capital.

Vitali Klitschko called for his countrymen to "defend our future" against Russian President Vladimir Putin's army as the conflict entered its 14th day on Wednesday.

"Kyiv right now has resources for I guess a week, or maybe two weeks if Russians encircle Kyiv," Klitschko said during an appearance on CNN.

Klitschko, who has been visiting defense posts of the Ukrainian military, confirmed that Ukrainian soldiers "destroyed" some Russian attempts to take control of the city and have managed to defend the capital for the past two weeks.

"I tell people we never give up, because it's our land, it's our city, it's our family. We defend our future," Klitschko said. "The reason of the war, from the Russian side, is actually senseless. The reason Putin does this war is because we want to be a democratic European country and Putin wants to rebuild the Russian empire," he said.

"Without Ukraine, it's difficult to do it. It's his dream to rebuild the Soviet Union. We were in the USSR and don't want to go back to the USSR," he said.

Klitschko's news appearance comes as Russia's Defense Ministry says it has disabled most of Ukraine's air defenses, leaving the country unable to defend against Russian fighter jets.

At a regular briefing hosted by the Pentagon on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official said Ukraine's airspace remained contested by both sides.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave his daily address on Wednesday telling Russian soldiers: "You still have a chance to survive."

"Almost two weeks of our resistance has shown you that we will not give up," he said in comments directed at Russian troops.

"We have persevered and inspired the whole world with our determination," he said, according to Gazeta, one of Ukraine's biggest newspapers.

Zelensky has reportedly survived over a dozen assassination attempts since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

"Our foreign partners are talking about two or three attempts. I believe that there were more than a dozen such attempts," Mikhail Podolyak, head of the office for the president, told Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.

The U.N. says at least 406 civilians have been killed since the start of the invasion on February 24. However, U.S. intelligence estimates that the number is closer to 2,000 deaths.

Temporary humanitarian corridors have now opened, allowing some Ukrainian women and children to flee cities, including Sumy and Mariupol.

Follow Newsweek's live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Vitali Klitschko
Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Ukraine's capital on March 6, 2022. Klitschko told CNN on March 9, 2022, that the city had supplies to last another two weeks. GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images