Interview with Vitalii Kim, the Head of Mykolaiv Regional Administration – April 21
[Klitina] Hi, we have the Head of the Mykolaiv Regional Administration, Vitalii Kim, with us today. Thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed. Please describe to us in a few words what the current situation in Mykolaiv Region is?
[Kim] Hello everybody. At present, the situation is stable and dangerous. We have a war line on the border between the Kherson and Mykolaiv Regions. We have been bombed constantly for two weeks, bombed by Russians, by the occupying Russian army, by cluster bombs and rockets. They destroyed one of our hospitals. Tonight, three persons were injured, one killed, civilian people.
[Klitina] Awful news. What are the main problems and needs? How much humanitarian aid is needed? Is there enough food and medicines for local residents? What help do you need first and foremost?
[Kim] We have enough food, medicine, water, and everything for civilian purposes. The main thing we need at present is ammunition and weapons to defend our region and our country.
[Klitina] We all know that you’re a fearless person. So, what is the morale like of the people there in Mykolaiv Region?
[Kim] Every person in Ukraine, every citizen of Ukraine, is a hero now. We are defending not only Ukraine; we are defending Europe too. I do not know the plans of these Russian occupiers, but all they say in their news is that they want to conquer Ukraine and Poland, Moldova, and Latvia and Lithuania, all of Europe. They can do this. So, we are defending Europe right now.
[Klitina] How many people have left or been evacuated from your area? How efficient are transport links and the infrastructure?
[Kim] All our infrastructure is operating, except for bombed areas, but we fix it quickly. About 180 transport units are working in Mykolaiv alone, and in the region, it’s more. What was your first question? I forgot.
[Klitina] the first one was how many people have left or been evacuated?
[Kim] About half of the population have left their homes. Maybe a little bit less. About half of the people of the city of Mykolaiv have left their homes. In two areas this figure is lower, but it is higher in regions where there’s war. So, approximately 50%.
[Klitina] OK. Are there active hostilities in Mykolaiv Region? Are there any forecasts regarding future developments?
[Kim] Forecasting is not a very good idea during a war. We do have hostilities in Mykolaiv Region. In the north the situation is better. In the south of the region, it is not very good.
[Klitina] Is Mykolaiv Region ready to defend itself? Are the defenders of Mykolaiv getting enough weapons?
[Kim] We are very ready to defend ourselves, and we have already shown it once. The Russian army was near Voznesensk. They were pushed back around 70 kilometers to Crimea. But now we do not have enough weapons to attack. It is challenging to stand, but we need weapons to completely clear our region [of Russian armed forces].
[Klitina] I have a final question for you. What message would you like to convey to the international community? What is the primary need for attaining victory?
[Kim] We need weapons, and we need them now. We need ammunition and weapons to defend ourselves because we have dead and injured civilian people every day. This is a very high price for us to pay to defend our country every day.
[Klitina] OK, so stay strong and Slava Ukrayini!
[Kim] Heroyam slava!