Kyiv mayor brushes off Zelenskiy's criticism as 'politics'

KYIV, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Wednesday dismissed criticism by Ukraine's president about his office's preparations for a winter of Russian air strikes, saying he believed it was driven by politics and that it looked "strange".

Klitschko was chided by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in one of his nightly video addresses to Ukrainians last week, when he accused city authorities of failing to provide enough shelters despite the energy system being pounded by Russian attacks.

Officials are rolling out special "heating points" to provide people with warmth and electricity in case Russian missile strikes on critical infrastructure cause sweeping blackouts.

In an interview with Reuters, Klitschko responded to the accusations by saying Kyiv had considerably more heating hubs than any other city in Ukraine.

"It looks strange when we are united against a single enemy, but we start to fight within the country," he said.

"Our foreign partners say 'you have a common enemy, but you cannot work things out among yourselves.'"

Klitschko, now in his ninth year as mayor, was seen as one of Zelenskiy's highest-profile opponents before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

"I am convinced that politics is behind this, because representatives of one political group began to run around trying to find faults (in Kyiv)," he said.

Reporting by Max Hunder, editing by Tom Balmforth and Timothy Heritage

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