Tags: russia | ukraine | war | soccer | shakhtar donetsk

Ukrainian Soccer Club Donates $25M to Mariupol Soldiers, Families

Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar Donetsk line up for a team photograph at The Marshall Jozef Pilsudski's Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw on Nov. 2, in Warsaw, Poland. (Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 January 2023 02:15 PM EST

FC Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the most popular soccer clubs in Ukraine, particularly the eastern Donbass region, announced a $25 million commitment Monday to support Mariupol soldiers, along with the families of fallen Ukrainian soldiers.

The "Heart of Azovstal" project comes after Shakhtar Donetsk sold its star player, 22-year-old Mykhaylo Mudryk, to the West London-based Chelsea Football Club — in a reported deal worth $110 million.

"The money [from the transfer] will be used to cover different needs, from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests," said Shakhtar Donetsk club president Rinat Akhmetov in a statement.

Mariupol has been one of the hardest-hit areas of the Russia-Ukraine war, which launched last February.

In fact, as early as April, Ukrainian troops began bracing for a final stand against the Russian troops.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian army continued to fight, even prompting Maj. Serhiy Volyna, commander of the brigade, to famously tell The Washington Post, "We will not lay down our weapons."

In that same video interview with the Post, Volyna said civilians in Mariupol were sheltering in the Azovstal steel plant — which has now become symbolic of the Ukrainians' resiliency throughout the war.

According to various sites, Shakhtar Donetsk relocated its training base to Lviv in 2014, due to war in the Donbass region. After that, Shakhtar played in Kharkiv (2017-2020), while having its training headquarters in Kyiv.

And in May 2020, Shakhtar played home matches at NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city.

The remaining portion of club president Akhmetov's statement reads as follows:

"I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him. This guy is leading by example, showing that talent and hard work can make the impossible possible. I am absolutely confident that the entire Europe will acclaim Mykhaylo's brilliant and fine play.

"On the other hand, I have never made it a secret that my dream is to win European trophies. This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, to our Ukrainian championship, and we should win European trophies with such players, rather than root for them, even when they play in the world's top clubs. Unfortunately, it is impossible now, as Ukraine is fighting the horrendous and unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation. But I am confident that we will win. And we will play a friendly against Chelsea at Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk.

"... I have made a decision to launch the Heart of Azovstal, a project designed to help Mariupol defenders and the families of fallen soldiers. Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in the modern history. It is them, their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the first months of the war and let all of us feel the inevitability of the Victory of Ukraine now.

"I am allocating $25 million [in American dollars] today to help our soldiers, defenders, and their families. The money will be used to cover different needs — from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests. To ensure transparency, the project will have a professional independent team that will be in touch with the Azovstal defenders, their families, care providers, and volunteers."

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GlobalTalk
FC Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the most popular soccer clubs in Ukraine, particularly the eastern Donbass region, announced a $25 million commitment Monday to support Mariupol soldiers, along with the families of fallen Ukrainian soldiers.
russia, ukraine, war, soccer, shakhtar donetsk
544
2023-15-16
Monday, 16 January 2023 02:15 PM
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