Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko has called out the recent reports on the allegedly intended search of his home "psychological pressure", adding this could be related to someone fearing his "presidential ambitions."
"What happened today I can't brand other than psychological pressure. Maybe someone has other versions," the mayor told journalists, adding the "meetings are constantly held on the "Klitschko issue" at the President's Office, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
"I called my lawyer, and then, together with the journalists, went up to one of the floors, where we saw law enforcers. They were two floors below my apartment. They said the raid was in progress in some criminal case. When I went up to my apartment, where a CCTV camera is installed, I saw on the video that law enforcers had earlier come to my door," Klitschko said.
Answering a question on whether the "raid scare" is due to the President's Office believing Klitschko has presidential ambitions and fearing competition, the mayor: "I don't rule this out."
"I doubt this was an accident. I see it as psychological pressure. This pressure is due to the fact that someone doesn't like my statements about the need to introduce lockdown when our hospitals are overcrowded. Someone doesn't like the fact that I urge mayors to unite amid Russian army's military drills on the borders of Ukraine, and someone doesn't like city's initiatives," he said.
However, Klitschko did not answer directly whether he has presidential ambitions.
"I have ambitions to live in a modern country, a modern European city. And to this end, I do everything that depends on me so that Kyiv and the country change for the better," he said.
Latest barrage of searches targeting municipal companies in Kyiv
- On May 13, law enforcers raided the HQ of the Kyiv Metro subway operator for a warranted search as part of a criminal proceeding into tax evasion.
- Also, the State Fiscal Service reported on searches in Kyivpastrans ground transport operator, Kyivavtoputmost road and bridges management firm, and other City Council-controlled companies.
- Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko slammed the recent raids, including of the City Council's departments, as political pressure.
- According to the prosecutor's office, 11 individuals have already been charged in the ongoing probes.
- On May 18, armed law enforcers have been deployed on Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street downtown Kyiv, to the house where city Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko resides.