Vasyl Kravets, the Ukrainian defender in Spain’s second-division league club Sporting Gijon, has placed all the blame of the events happening in his country on Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. He added that, if needed, he will go to the war despite admitting that he doesn’t know how to use a gun.
On Thursday, Russia invaded Ukraine after Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ in the country, resulting in widespread condemnation of his actions by prominent leaders in the world. The invasion has resulted in many people leaving cities, including capital Kyiv and major sporting events to be held in Russia getting cancelled. The world of football has been quick in condemning the invasion, with Barcelona and Napoli players displaying a ‘Stop War’ banner ahead of their Europa League match on Thursday.
“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. 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,” said Kravets to Spanish outlet Radio Marca.
“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. If I could go, I would — to defend my country. It is obligatory for the heart of Ukrainians. 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,” added Kravets, who has been excused from training with his team-mates at Sporting Gijon.
Kravets admitted that he is extremely worried for his family’s safety in Ukraine. “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. 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… My wife cries 8 or 10 times a day, it’s incredible, they are scared to death.”
Kravets, 24, has again pinned the blame on Putin and his orders of invasion of Ukraine. “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.”