Ukrainians are currently defending their country’s sovereignty after Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday ordered his army to invade the neighboring country
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Shakhtar Donetsk have confirmed that a youth coach has died defending Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“One of our employees was killed, he was a children’s coach,” confirmed Shakhtar CEO Serhyi Palkin on Thursday evening. “He was hit by a fragment of a Russian bullet.”
The news comes just two days later Two Ukrainian footballers were killed in conflict.
“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and teammates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, football’s first reported casualties in this war,” FIFPRO said in a statement.
“May they both rest in peace.”
Shakhtar is one of Ukraine’s most successful clubs, having won 13 league titles, 13 Ukrainian Cups, nine Ukrainian Super Cups and the UEFA Cup.
Although Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine was approved by Putin last Thursday, Ukraine has been fighting pro-Russian forces in the Donbass (or Donbass) region since 2014.
Since Donetsk is located in Donbass, Shakhtar have not been able to play their home games at Donbass Arena since the beginning of the conflict.
The Ukraine team is currently based in the capital, Kyiv, having previously spent time in Lviv – a city near Ukraine’s border with Poland.
The Ukrainian First League is currently suspended due to the Russian invasion. Shakhtar top the table, two points ahead of holders Dynamo Kyiv.
Palkin released a statement through Shakhtar website last Saturday condemned the conflict and insisted that Ukraine would remain a sovereign state.
“There is war in the land,” Palkin observed.
” Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. People die. There are no words to describe what is happening. The world community must stop this as soon as possible.
“I call on the clubs we played with, most of Europe’s top teams, UEFA and tens of millions of fans to give maximum support to Ukraine at their level.
“This war affects every European today. Only if we join forces can we overcome this madness. I believe that together we will survive and win.
Alexander KHUDOTEPLY/Getty Images)
“I experienced many bright moments with Shakhtar, but for me personally, victory in this war for Ukraine’s independence will be the greatest victory in my life.
“Regarding the situation at the club. I’m in Kyiv. Most of the players and coaches with their families are in Kyiv.
“We’re trying to find ways to evacuate our foreigners and their families… staff members of the club — at home, in bomb shelters, in basements, on the subway. Where it’s safer.
“When possible, families are evacuated … we try to keep communication inside, share information, support each other.
“All our thoughts today are on the end of this crazy war. About Ukrainian soldiers, about those who defend our country and its right to sovereignty and independence.
“I believe that we will win together!”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/shakhtar-donetsk-coach-killed-ukraine-26381697 Shakhtar Donetsk coach was killed in Ukraine fighting Russian invasion