Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine laments ‘human stupidity’ of war

Claude Wild interviewed in Bern on Wednesday, March 3. SRF

Claude Wild, who was evacuated from Kyiv earlier this week, has also given more details about the diplomatic pull out.

This content was published on March 3, 2022 minutes

“I’m sad for the Ukrainians, for my colleagues and for the country,” Claude Wild said in an interview given to the Blick-TV station on Thursday.

Wild added that “human stupidity” had intervened at a moment when Ukraine “had built itself up so well” and had been on a path towards western values.

Wild was part of a group of five Swiss diplomatic staff who remained in the embassy in Kyiv until its closure on Monday. Most of the other staff were already evacuated last week, when 39 people – including some Swiss citizens and journalists – left Ukraine in a ten-car convoy accompanied by special forces.

Local staff working at the embassy also had the opportunity to leave with this first convoy, said Wild, but most chose to make their own arrangements.

Aid displaced

As for the decision to close the embassy definitively earlier this week, Wild said it was motivated by two main factors. Firstly, other countries had already pulled out, as had the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which would have limited Swiss effectiveness on site. And secondly, the reports of columns of Russian armoured howitzers led to fears of a prolonged shelling of Kyiv, said Wild.

Swiss humanitarian aid is now being organised from neighbouring countries, the Ambassador added: one outpost has been set up in Poland and another – probably in Moldova – is in the works.

Swiss citizens still in Ukraine and who need assistance are advisedExternal link to contact the foreign ministry through its helpline or by email. On Thursday evening, public broadcaster RTS reported that of the some 280 Swiss registered as being in the country on March 1, around 60 were known to have left.

The foreign ministry recommends Swiss people in Ukraine to leave the country, through their own means, if this is possible and safe. 

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