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Shakhtar Donetsk’s Coach Killed In Ukraine Crisis

Shakhtar Donetsk have confirmed a youth coach has died defending Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade neighboring Ukraine last Thursday, triggering a bloody war in eastern Europe.

“One of our employees was killed, he was a children’s coach,” confirmed Shakhtar CEO Serhyi Palkin on Thursday evening. “He was hit by a fragment of a Russian bullet.”

The news comes just two days after two Ukrainian footballers were killed in the conflict.

“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,” read a FIFPRO statement.

“May they both rest in peace.”

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Serhyi Palkin has confirmed one of the club’s youth coaches has died following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Shakhtar are one of Ukraine’s most successful clubs, winning 13 league titles, 13 Ukrainian Cups, nine Ukrainian Super Cups and the UEFA Cup.

Although Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine was sanctioned by Putin last Thursday, Ukraine has been battling Pro-Russian forces in the Donbas (or Donbass) region since 2014.

As Donetsk is located in the Donbas, Shakhtar have been unable to play their home fixtures at the Donbass Arena since the conflict started.

The Ukrainian outfit are currently based in the capital Kyiv, having previously spent time in Lviv – a city based near Ukraine’s border with Poland.

The Ukrainian Premier League is currently suspended due to Russia’s invasion. Shakhtar are top of the table, two points ahead of defending champions Dynamo Kyiv.

Palkin released a statement through Shakhtar’s website last Saturday condemning the conflict and insisting Ukraine would remain a sovereign state.

“There is a war in the country,” noted Palkin.

” Russia has launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. People are dying. There are no words to describe what is happening. The world community must stop this as soon as possible.

“I urge the clubs we have played with, most of Europe’s top teams, UEFA, tens of millions of fans, to give maximum support to Ukraine at their level.

“This war affects every European today. Only by joining forces can we overcome this madness. I believe that together we will stand and win.

Shakhtar are one of Ukraine’s most successful football clubs

“I have gone through many bright moments with Shakhtar, but for me personally the biggest victory in my life will be the victory in this war for Ukraine’s independence.

“Regarding the situation in the club. I am in Kyiv. Most of the players and coaches with their families are in Kyiv.

“We are trying to find ways to evacuate our foreigners and their families… employees of the club – at home, in bomb shelters, basements, in the subway. Where it is safer.

“If possible, families are evacuated… we try to maintain communication inside, exchange information, support each other.

“All our thoughts today are about the end of this crazy war. About Ukrainian soldiers, about those who defend our country and its right to sovereignty and independence.

“I believe that together we will win!”

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