A $25 million program to support Mariupol soldiers and families of fallen soldiers was announced on Monday by Ukrainian soccer club Shakhtar Donetsk. The soccer club’s project, “Heart of Azovstal”, was launched thanks to the sale of its star player. The deal for 22-year-old Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea Football Club was a deal worth $110 million.
“The money will be used to cover different needs, from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests,” the club’s president Rinat Akhmetov, said in a statement.
Akhmetov said in a statement that the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers is unparalleled in modern history.
“Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in 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,” Akhmetov added.
Shakhtar said they will receive a Ukrainian record-breaking transfer fee of $75M for the 22-year-old with an additional $35M expected as a bonus payment, the club confirmed in a statement Sunday.
Akhmetov added that he is confident that Ukraine will win the war against Russia, and one day “we will play a friendly against Chelsea at Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk.”
There is no denying the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers in their fight against Putin’s invasion into their country. I don’t know that I would call it unparalleled but it’s easy to understand Akhmetov’s pride in Ukrainian soldiers. Ukrainians have proven themselves to be strong and determined to remain free.
I think it is a good sign so see Ukrainians supporting Ukrainians in such a grand gesture. At a time when a lot of Americans are beginning to question where all the financial support the US is sending to Ukraine is going, asking for some accountability for the billions that have been spent so far, it is good to see a group with the financial means to help do so.
Akhmetov’s statement about the launch of ‘Heart of Azovstal’ stresses the team’s gratitude to Ukrainian soldiers.
FC Shakhtar has signed a final agreement with Chelsea FC and thus Ukrainian footballer Mykhaylo Mudryk will continue his career with the Blues in the strongest national championship, the English Premier League.
First and foremost, I want to thank the entire civilised world for helping Ukraine. Today we are able to talk about Ukrainian football thanks to the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people, and the tremendous support of the entire civilised world. Only by joining efforts we will defeat the evil that has come to our homes.
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.
We have to do everything we can to bring this day closer.
That is why 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 (UAH 1 billion) 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.
We are forever indebted to our soldiers!
Akhmetov is confident that Ukraine will successfully defeat Putin’s Russian forces. It is important that they do just that.