Vitali Klitschko, a former heavyweight boxing champion, has said he will take up arms alongside his brother Wladimir to fight in the war following Russia's invasion of their home country Ukraine.
In a televised declaration of war in the early hours of Thursday morning, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a "specialised military operation" in Ukraine's Donbas region.
He warned the international community of “consequences greater than any you have faced in history” over any attempted interference and in the coming hours, Russia would launch its invasion.
Last night, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said that 137 people had been killed and 316 wounded.
The world is watching how reckless and deadly imperialism is, not just for #Ukraine but the whole world. Let history be a lesson to not be repeated.— Klitschko (@Klitschko) February 24, 2022
Since Putin declared war, Vitali Klitschko, who has been major of Kyiv since 2014, has said he is ready to fight alongside his brother, Wladimir.
When asked if he would be taking arms against Russia, the 50-year-old said on ITV's Good Morning Britain: "It’s already a bloody war. I don’t have another choice, I have to do that. I’ll be fighting."
In a LinkedIn post on Thursday, two-time world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko made his feelings very clear.
"Putin makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people," he wrote.
"Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. That’s it, blood will mix with tears. We will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy."
Former heavyweight boxer and current Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says he will take up arms against Russian forces:— The Recount (@therecount) February 24, 2022
“I don’t have another choice, I have to do that.” pic.twitter.com/cwv01Iih2I
The brothers posted an appeal as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. In the video posted on Thursday, Wladimir says: "I’m calling to all international partners to observe this tragedy that is happening nowadays in Ukraine.
"And this senseless war that is not going to have any winners, but losers.
"I just want to tell you we must stay united against this aggression, against Russian aggression. Don’t let it continue happening in Ukraine, don’t let it happen in Europe and eventually in the world.
"United we are strong, support Ukraine, thank you."
Boxing's current world heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, has been working in London this week but the 35-year-old returned to Ukraine on Thursday night and issued a strong message to his compatriots.
He posted on Instagram: "Some wrote to me that I ran away; I didn’t, I was at work but I’m back, I’m home.
"Friends, we have to unite because it’s a hard time right now and I’m really emotional and worry about my country, and our people. Friends, we have to stop this war; all of us together."
He captioned his post "NO WAR" amid Russia's invasion.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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