No victim is more important than the lives lost and the houses demolished. The effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is felt in every little crack in society, and football is no different. On Tuesday, a series of missile attacks tore through the city of Mykolaiv, also destroying Stadion Tsentralnyi, home of one of Ukraine’s oldest football clubs.
“On June 28, Mykolaiv and its suburbs came under a massive missile attack launched from the Bastion coastal missile system located in the occupied Kherson region,” the statement from the Mykolaiv regional administration read.
The Ukrainian Defense Force was only able to foil three out of eight missiles, while the rest ended up damaging their military stations and the stadium. In the middle of the newly renovated stadium was a crater 15 meters wide and 5 meters deep. There are no casualties as the stadium has been closed for a few months.
“It used to be a lawn at the main stadium of Mykolaiv. Now it’s a crater. Imagine what kind of rockets the Russians hit the city with,” wrote Anton Gerashchenko, an officer at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Ruslan Malinovskyi, the Ukrainian footballer who plays for Atalanta, also tweeted about the incident.
This is not the first time that football has been the victim of Russian bombardments. In March, Russian airstrikes destroyed the land in Desna Chernihiv. Later, the coach of this side decided to join the army to fight the invasion.
Athletes are on the front lines of bringing the plight of their homeland to light and they have also spearheaded various community services to help those affected by war. Oleksandr Zinchenko recently donated an undisclosed amount to the National Bank and is also helping his neighbors with essential services.
Ahead of the game against Scotland, Zinchenko said: “I spoke with people from all over the world, from different countries. I also spoke to Ukrainian children who just don’t understand what is happening in Ukraine. They only want the war to stop, they have only one dream, to stop the war.
Featured Image: Ukrainian World