Brazilian footballers stranded in war-hit Ukraine have appealed to their government for an immediate evacuation, saying ‘the situation is one of despair.’
A video clip showed players from Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv, with their families, gathered in a hotel in the Ukrainian capital.
It came as Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his military forces to invade Ukraine on multiple fronts with missiles and bombs raining from the sky, tanks moving across the border and ‘hundreds’ of Ukrainian troops reported dead.
The journalist Arthur Quezada posted a video on Twitter showing several Brazilian players assembled to make an appeal to the authorities in their home country to get them out of Ukraine.
Their partners and young children were also visible in the video.
The Shakhtar striker Junior Moraes, 34, sent a message saying: ‘The situation is one of despair. I ask you to disclose this video so that it reaches the [Brazilian] government.
A video clip showing Brazilian footballers based in Ukraine and their families appealing to their government for an evacuation has been circulated on Twitter
The group includes players from Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv, who are currently in a hotel in the Ukrainian capital after Russia invaded the country
‘Borders are closed, banks [are shut], there is no fuel, there will be a shortage of food, there is no money.
The Shakhtar Donetsk player Junior Moraes posted this Instagram message reading: ‘All friends and family, the situation is serious and we are stuck in Kiev waiting for a solution to get out. We are inside a hotel. Pray for us.’
‘We are gathered waiting for a plan to leave Ukraine.’
Moraes posted a message on Instagram that read: ‘All friends and family, the situation is serious and we are stuck in Kiev waiting for a solution to get out. We are inside a hotel. Pray for us.’
Moraes was born in Brazil but is a Ukraine international. There are 12 Brazilian players in the Shakhtar squad, while the forward Vitinho plays for Dynamo Kyiv.
David Neres, a Brazil international, had just completed a transfer from Dutch club Ajax to Shakhtar last month.
Other Brazilian players in Shakhtar’s squad are defenders Dodo, Vitao, Marlon, Ismaily and Vinicius Tobias, plus midfielders Maycon, Marcos Antonio, Tete, Alan Patrick, Pedrinho and Fernando.
Commercial airlines have grounded flights to and from Ukraine, preventing an exit for any foreigners, while Russia’s assault on the country from the south, east and north has made an escape by land highly treacherous.
Journalist Arthur Quezada quoted Moraes describing the situation in Ukraine as ‘one of despair’ with borders sealed and a shortage of food likely
Shakhtar’s Brazil-born Ukraine international forward Junior Moraes sent out the appeal
The Brazil international David Neres recently completed a move from Ajax to Shakhtar
Official figures said 40 Ukrainian troops had been killed in early skirmishes with ‘dozens’ wounded after Putin gave the green light for an early morning invasion on Thursday.
Ukraine claimed that six Russian jets were shot out of the sky over the eastern Donbass region with 50 Russian troops killed but Russia’s air force had taken control of the skies over the country.
Precision-guided missiles slammed into strategic targets throughout the country, including airfields, military bases, ammunition dumps and command posts.
The night sky above Kyiv was lit up as Russia targeted the command headquarters of the Ukrainian military near the city.
Highways out of the city were left gridlocked as thousands attempted to flee and air-raid sirens sounded at first light.
A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia
An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies
Putin is pictured in the early hours of Thursday morning declaring war on Ukraine, in what he termed a ‘special military operation’
The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts, with bombs and missiles striking targets across the country, ground forces rolling in from Belarus, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk, and paratroopers dropping on Kharkiv
Meanwhile, the Ukraine and Manchester City footballer Oleksandr Zinchenko claimed Instagram deleted a post in which he wished the ‘creature’ Putin ‘the most painful suffering death’.
Zinchenko posted a picture of the Russian president and wrote: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature.’
But the stories post was later taken down and the player claimed Instagram had censored him.
Oleksandr Zinchenko says he hopes Vladimir Putin suffers the ‘most painful suffering death’ in a post that Instagram have since taken down, according to the Manchester City defender
The Ukraine international said on Tuesday that he ‘can’t stand back’ whilst ‘the whole civilized world is concerned about my country’
The Ukrainian Premier League has also been paused for a minimum of 30 days following the invasion. It had been due to restart on Friday following its winter break.
But with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposing martial law and calling upon all civilian with knowledge of handling weapons to stand and fight, that restart has been delayed.
There will now be doubts over whether Ukraine’s World Cup play-off match against Scotland in Glasgow will take place as planned on March 24, while the British government have already demanded that St Petersburg should be stripped of the Champions League final on May 28.
The Romanian coach of Dynamo Kyiv, Mircea Lucescu, said he would not be leaving the country.
He told Fanatik: ‘I hope that this war started by idiots stops as soon as possible. All sporting activities here in Ukraine have been suspended, but I will not leave Kyiv. I am not a coward.’