For the first time since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a German state government leader, Hamburg’s First Mayor Peter Tschentscher, visited Kiev. The SPD politician arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Monday morning by train from Poland. The trip was not announced for security reasons. Meetings with Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko, his brother Wladimir and representatives of the national government were planned for the course of the day.

Tschentscher followed Klitschko’s invitation to visit. In April 2022 – two months after the start of Russia’s attack, which violated international law – both mayors concluded a “pact for solidarity and future” to support each other in their cities in times of crisis.

Hamburg remains firmly on the side of the people in Kiev, said Tschentscher. With his visit he wanted to send a sign of solidarity. “We provide humanitarian aid and support in maintaining supplies.” The people of Ukraine opposed Russian aggression with courage, perseverance and great strength. “Our support in the crisis must continue until the war is over and reconstruction can begin,” he said.

Tschentscher wanted to hand over three Hamburger Hochbahn buses in Kiev as a gift. He also wanted to visit an aid project for children traumatized by the war and municipal care facilities financed with donations from Hamburg.

The aim of the Pact for Security and Future is a strategic partnership between Hamburg and Kiev to support each other in times of crisis. This particularly concerns humanitarian aid and technical support. Both cities also want to work together in the areas of climate protection, digitalization, mobility, administration and economic development.

In view of the humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the war, the focus is currently on supporting Kiev, which Hamburg is providing together with the aid organizations

As part of this cooperation, almost 330 pallets of relief goods, donated by Hamburg citizens and companies, have already been brought to Kiev. In addition, there were private donations of more than 300,000, which were used, among other things, to set up a day care center for children traumatized by the war. Generators and pumps for electricity and water supply were also delivered.

To improve medical care, the Hanseatic city also donated eleven ambulances, regulators and more than 100 pallets of medical products worth over one million euros to the Ukrainian capital.

On the way to Ukraine, Tschentscher remembered the victims of a massacre that members of a Hamburg police unit carried out there during the Second World War during a stopover in Józefów in southeastern Poland on Sunday afternoon. He laid a wreath at a memorial in a nearby forest. In 1942, members of the Hamburg Reserve Police Battalion 101 shot around 1,500 Jewish children, women and men after the city was captured by the German Wehrmacht.