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Sporting Gijon's Ukrainian defender Vasyl Kravets says he wants to go to war against Putin

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They’re killing people, civilians, in hospitals, and it’s all Putin’s fault’: Sporting Gijon’s Ukrainian defender Vasyl Kravets says he wants to go to war now even though he can’t even load a gun

  • Vasyl Kravets has been excused from training with his team-mates at second-division side Sporting Gijon 
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a second day with Ukrainian and Vladimir Putin’s forces battling for control of Kyiv 
  • Kravets has placed all the blame of the events on the Russian president
  • Kravets went on to explain the horrific issues his family who are in Ukraine face 


A Ukrainian footballer playing in Spain has revealed he wants to go to war, and is willing to put his career on hold to do so. 

Vasyl Kravets has been excused from training with his team-mates at second-division side Sporting Gijon following Russia’s invasion of his country on Thursday morning.

Fighting has continued into Friday with Ukrainian forces taking to the streets of Kyiv before the sounds of gunfire and explosions rang out as they battled Russian forces for control of the capital.  

Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade has been condemned worldwide, with the football community also uniting, with Barcelona and Napoli players displaying a ‘Stop War’ banner ahead of their Europa League clash on Thursday.  

But the left-back has revealed in a heartfelt interview that he is willing to go to war even though he does not know how to reload a gun, and placing all the blame of the events on Russia’s president.

‘They are killing people, civilians, in hospitals… it’s all Putin’s fault, I don’t want to say it’s Russia’s fault, but Putin’s,’ Kravets told Spanish outlet Radio Marca.

‘We are a country that wants to live in peace. We don’t want to attack anyone, we want to live well and calm. I tell the truth: I want to go to war and help my people. 

‘But I can’t help because I don’t know how to shoot, how to move, how to reload a gun…but the truth is that I want to help.

Sporting Gijon's Ukrainian defender Vasyl Kravets has revealed he wants to go to war, and is willing to put his career on hold to do so.

Sporting Gijon’s Ukrainian defender Vasyl Kravets has revealed he wants to go to war, and is willing to put his career on hold to do so.

Fighting has continued into Friday following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning

Fighting has continued into Friday following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning

‘If I could go, I would – to defend my country. It is obligatory for the heart of Ukrainians.’

The 24-year-old defender: ‘Almost all our airports are blocked. If my country needs everyone to defend our country, I’m leaving. I’ll talk to Sporting and I’ll leave.’

Kravets went on to explain the horrific issues his family who are in Ukraine face, admitting his concern for his loved ones is keeping him awake at night.

‘I call and say: ‘cheer up’ and they say ‘thank you’ but I can’t do anything else. And after 30 minutes… I call again,’ Kravets added.

‘I don’t sleep at all. My mother calls me, she hears gunshots… I’m training but I only think about my country, my family…

Kravets placed all the blame on Russian president Vladimir Putin who ordered the invasion

Kravets placed all the blame on Russian president Vladimir Putin who ordered the invasion

‘My wife cries 8 or 10 times a day, it’s incredible, they are scared to death.’ 

Kravets continued: ‘It’s Putin’s fault, only Putin’s’

‘Some country has to enter Ukraine with its weapons. We are strong but we need help. We don’t want to die, and we don’t want to kill.’

Kravets has been capped by his country at every level up to Ukraine’s U21s and is currently on loan at Sporting Gijon.

His parent club are Leganes, who he joined in 2019 following two years at another Spanish side Lugo.

Kravets (right) has been capped by Ukraine's U21s and is currently on loan at Sporting Gijon from Leganes

Kravets (right) has been capped by Ukraine’s U21s and is currently on loan at Sporting Gijon from Leganes

Kravets spent the three years of his senior club career at Karpaty Lviv in his home country before moving to Spain, while he also had a loan spell at Polish outfit Lech Poznan last season.

The football community has taken other action, with Paris replacing St Petersburg as the venue for this year’s Champions League final. 

Premier League players, managers and fans have also been given the green light to protest against the Russian invasion by displaying Ukraine flags at their games this weekend in a show of solidarity for the besieged nation.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has also confirmed the start of football matches across the country this weekend will be postponed by five minutes as a protest against Russia’s aggression.

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