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Shakhtar Donetsk Defender Viktor Kornienko Joins Ukrainian Army In Fight Against Russia

Jack Kenmare

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| Last updated 

Shakhtar Donetsk Defender Viktor Kornienko Joins Ukrainian Army In Fight Against Russia

Featured Image Credit: kornienko_vitya_/Instagram

Shakhtar Donetsk defender Viktor Kornienko has confirmed he is helping the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they continue to battle against the Russian invasion.

The 23-year-old full-back, who has made two appearances for Ukraine after making his international debut last year against the Czech Republic, is the latest person from the world of sport to fight on the frontline.

In a post on his official Instagram page, Kornienko wrote: "I am in Ukraine, I’m helping the Armed Forces. Glory to Ukraine. So that we can destroy Russian f*ckers. Glory to Ukraine."

A number of athletes have taken up arms in Ukraine to defend their country, including boxing brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.

Since Putin declared war on Thursday, Vitali Klitschko, who has been major of Kyiv since 2014, has said he is ready to fight alongside his brother.

"It’s already a bloody war," he told ITV's Good Morning Britain. "I don’t have another choice, I have to do that. I’ll be fighting."

Boxing's world heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, also 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."

In regards to the football world, Brazilian players from Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv appealed to their government for an immediate evacuation from war-torn Ukraine on Thursday.

In a video alongside their families from a hotel in Kyiv, Junior Moraes, who plays as a forward for Donetsk, said the situation is "one of despair" after Russia launched an invasion of the country.

It was then confirmed on Tuesday that Shakhtar had moved their Brazilian players to Romania.

A statement from the club read: "We want to thank for the assistance everyone who took part in this process.

"The evacuation of the players was made possible thanks to the personal assistance of Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin, the Ukrainian Football Association President Andrii Pavelko and the Moldovan Football Federation President Leonid Oleinichenko."

It was announced on Tuesday that Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo, 21, and Dmytro Martynenko, 25, had lost their lives in combat.

FIFPRO announced the Ukrainian footballers died defending their country.

"Our thoughts are with the families, friends and team-mates of young Ukrainian footballers Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, football's first reported losses in this war.

"May they both rest in peace."


Topics: Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine, Russia

Jack Kenmare
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