Zelenskiy accuses the mayor of kyiv of negligence after the death of civilians who found his bomb shelter closed

The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has ordered that the state of all the anti-aircraft shelters throughout the country be reviewed after the death in the early hours of this Thursday of three people, including a girl, who found the one in their area closed in full Russian missile attack.

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Zelensky has accused local Kiev authorities of “negligence” for failing to ensure all shelters in the capital are available 24 hours a day.

As announced on his Telegram account by the president himself, Zelensky has ordered the Minister of Strategic Industries, Oleksandr Kamyshin, “to carry out a full audit of all Kiev’s protection structures.” Zelensky gave Kamyshin ten days to complete the evaluation.

Interior Minister Igor Klymenko has been given the task of evaluating shelters in the rest of the country.

Zelenski has given these orders during his meeting with the military, intelligence and political commanders in charge of the defense of Ukraine.

“It must not happen again”

The Ukrainian president showed his anger this Thursday with the local authorities of Kiev for not guaranteeing all the shelters – enabled in metro stations, underground parking lots and basements of residential buildings – in the capital.

“Protecting people means protecting them at all levels. Shelters must be accessible. A situation like last night in kyiv, when people went to the shelter and it was closed, must not happen again, ”said the president in his evening speech.

“It is the duty of local authorities, a very specific duty, to ensure that shelters are available and accessible 24 hours a day. It is painful to see the neglect of this duty. It is painful to see victims. And if the duty is not fulfilled on the ground, it is the direct responsibility of the forces of order to put it in the hands of justice, ”he added.

Zelensky did not directly name Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko or any other senior official, but his emphasis on local authorities made it clear that he believed the responsibility for failure lay, at some levels, with the capital’s leadership.

Klitschko has defended himself this Friday. “This is a shared and fair responsibility,” the mayor said in a statement, stating that the city district authorities are directly appointed by Zelensky, nine of whom were members of the president’s political party. Klitschko, who visited the site on Thursday, said investigations would be carried out and that police would patrol the city to ensure shelters were open.

The husband of one of the women who died told public broadcaster Suspilne that when they heard the air-raid alarm, people rushed to the shelter but found it closed. “People called, they called for a long time… There were women, children. Nobody opened. My wife and my son [estaban allí]. The child is fine, but my wife died.”

Numerous residents have complained that their area’s shelter has been closed off in recent weeks, as the increased frequency and intensity of Russian nighttime attacks has increased the number of Kievans coming down for cover at night.

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