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Klitschko may be dismissed as head of Kyiv city state administration, but no decision made yet - sources

This issue is being discussed followed the deaths of people near a closed shelter.

Klitschko may be dismissed as head of Kyiv city state administration, but no decision made yet - sources

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko is to be removed from his post as head of the Kyiv city state administration, but there is no final decision on this yet, a source in government circles has told

This issue has become more actual following the deaths of people near a closed shelter in the Dniprovskyy district. According to, the mechanism of Klitschko's removal from office and the candidates for possible successors are being actively discussed in the presidential office.

This is not the first time that the topic of Klitschko's removal from the Kyiv city state administration, which has real powers, unlike the mayor's position, has been raised. Prior to the full-scale invasion, the new law on the capital provided for such changes. Parliament managed to vote for it only in the first reading, back in 2019, and since then the document has not been considered in the second reading. Back in early February 2022, Klitschko spoke about the political component of this bill.

After the outbreak of full-scale war, public political squabbles between the capital's and central authorities subsided for obvious reasons. However, on 1 March, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy created the Kyiv city military administration (KCMA) in addition to the Kyiv city state administration (KCMA), headed by Gen Mykola Zhyrnov. In the regions, state administrations (RSAs) automatically became military administrations (MAs) with the introduction of martial law, but due to the peculiar status of the capital, Volodymyr Zelenskyy created a separate administration.

When arguing for the decision to create the KCSA, the president stressed that it would be led by a professional military officer. The administration was created to protect the capital, to guarantee the city's defence and block the enemy from approaching the capital.

"Vitaliy Klitschko remains the mayor of Kyiv. He will have his own area of responsibility. And now it will be a joint work of the mayor and the head of the military administration. After the war, we will return everything to its place in the capital," the president said.

Klitschko did not comment on this rotation of powers in the first days of the KCSA's creation on his social media. In an interview with KyivVlada in May, Zhyrnov said that during martial law, military administrations would have all the power. According to Zhyrnov, the structure of the KCMA was approved by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and according to it, he had two deputies: a military officer from the defence sector and Vitaliy Klitschko from the civilian sector. In October 2022, on the day Zhyrnov resigned, Klitschko thanked him in a post for his "constructive cooperation".

The split between the Kyiv city state administration and the current head of the KCMA, Serhiy Popko, at least publicly, began after the tragic deaths of two women and a child near a closed shelter of a polyclinic in the Dniprovskyy district. Mayor Klitschko believes that the director of the medical facility and the head of the district administration are responsible for the closed shelter. Commenting on the tragedy, Popko said that the authorities at all levels "from the mayor to the heads of the district" should be held responsible.

Civil protection issues were assigned to the KCMA. However, the KCSA also dealt with these issues, and, for example, in October 2022, promised that rescuers would cut the locks off shelters if balance holders kept them closed during an alarm. In April, the Kyiv city state administration reported on "systematic control" over the condition of the shelters together with members of the public. And in May, just a few days before the tragedy, the KCSA assured that inspections of problematic shelters, which Kyiv residents have recently complained about, are ongoing.

Today, the Kyiv city council adopted an appeal to the president, parliament and government, demanding that they "respect the constitutional guarantees of local government rights". In particular, the deputies want the executive body of the city council to be headed by the mayor.

They refer to the fact that this is regulated by the law on the capital and the decision of the Constitutional Court (according to which the head of the KCSA should be a person elected by Kyiv residents, i.e. the mayor). In addition, the appeal asks that the mayor be given back the right to nominate candidates for heads of Kyiv districts. He was deprived of this function shortly before the full-scale war.

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