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Boxer Oleksandr Usyk Returns To Ukraine And Pleads For End Of War

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Boxer Oleksandr Usyk Returns To Ukraine And Pleads For End Of War

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Alamy

Boxer Oleksandr Usyk has returned to Ukraine and pleaded for an end to the war.

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on Thursday (24 February), sparking international shock and condemnation.

Usyk was in the UK ahead of his rematch against Anthony Joshua, but he has since returned to his homeland.

Usyk has returned to Ukraine and called for an end to the war. Credit: Alamy
Usyk has returned to Ukraine and called for an end to the war. Credit: Alamy

In a video posted on Instagram, the 35-year-old said: "Dear Ukraine and dear Ukrainians, some wrote about me running away. Not true, I had a work trip and now I'm back. I'm home.

"Friends, we need to unite together and overcome this, because we are faced with exceptional difficulties.

"I'm very overcome with emotions and I'm very concerned for my country and for our people. Friends we must stop this war and we must do it together."

In a further video posted earlier today (Saturday 26 February), he appealed to Russians - and their president Vladimir Putin - to end the war.

Captioning the post, he wrote: "Good morning to everybody. My name is Aleksandr Usyk.

"I'd like to speak to the people of Russia. If we consider ourselves as brothers, orthodox ones. Do not let your children to set out to our country, do not fight with us.

"Also I'm addressing this to the President Vladimir Putin. You can stop this war. Please just sit down and negotiate it with us without claims.

"Our kids, wives, grannies are hiding in the basements… We are here in our own country, we cannot do it other way - we are defending… Stop it! Stop this war.

"NO WAR !!!"

He's joined compatriots and retired boxing champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko in calling for an end to the war.

Earlier today, Wladimir called for the 'entire world' to act immediately and come to the aid of Ukraine.

In a video posted on Instagram, he said: "I'm Wladimir Klitschko, and I'm addressing the entire world to stop this war that Russia has started.

"Just today, civilians were shot by the rockets, with special operations, civilians getting killed. And it's happening in the heart of Europe.

"There is no time to wait because that's going to lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

"You need to act now to stop Russian aggression with anything you can have now. In an hour, or tomorrow, is going to be too late.

"Please, get into action now. Don't wait. Act now. Stop this war."

Brother Vitali - who is the mayor Kyiv - said that a missile hit an apartment building on the south-western outskirts of Kyiv, near Zhuliany airport, earlier today.

He also imposed a longer curfew in the capital lasting until 8am on Monday, and 'all civilians on the street during the curfew will be considered members of the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance groups'.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Topics: World News, Sport

Jake Massey
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