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The Klitschko brothers, former heavyweight champion boxers, plan to take up arms and fight for Ukraine

Predicting Putin's next move after Ukraine
Predicting Putin's next move after invading Ukraine 06:01

Hall of Fame Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko said he will take up arms to fight Russia as attacks on his homeland have continued. Vitali said he will fight alongside his brother and former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who enlisted earlier this month into the Ukrainian reserve army. 

Vitali, 50, who is also the mayor of the capital city of Kyiv, told Good Morning Britain that Ukraine is already fighting a "bloody war" and he doesn't have "another choice." 

"I have to do that...I would be fighting," the 6-foot-7-inch politician said. Vitali is joining calls from the country's minister of defense for civilians over the age of 18 to take up arms to help defend the country. 

Vitali, who earned the nickname "Dr. Ironfist" because of his powerful punches, said on Friday that Kyiv is under threat and the city has entered a "defensive phase," according to Reuters.

"Shots and explosions are ringing out in some neighborhoods saboteurs have already entered Kyiv. The enemy wants to put the capital on its knees and destroy us," he said in a news briefing as Russian troops got closer to the center of the city. 

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko (L) and his brother and former Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko (R) speak during visit to a volunteers recruitment center in Kiev on February 2.  GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images

Vitali's brother Wladimir, 45, wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday that "it is not 'the war of Ukraine,' it is Putin's war." 

"He makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people," he said. "Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. That's it, blood will mix with tears."

Wladimir warned that the world needs to act if Russian forces take over the Ukrainian capital.  

"If Putin goes ahead with his plan for a change of regime in Kyiv, then democracies around the world must now start thinking about a change of regime in Moscow," he said. "Before it is too late."

Vitali and Wladimir had successful runs as boxers and entered the Guinness World Records with the most heavyweight boxing titles held by brothers. Both brothers also hold doctorates and speak multiple languages. 

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