Top Ukraine athletes’ defiant tribute to shot soldier


Ukraine’s top athletes have paid defiant tributes to a Ukrainian prisoner of war (POW) shown apparently being killed by Russian troops in a video that has shocked the nation. The unarmed prisoner is seen smoking in a trench. “Glory to Ukraine!” he says, before being shot. Tennis star Elina Svitolina, Chelsea footballer Mykhailo Mudryk and others responded with “Glory to the Heroes!” in their video tribute. It is a battle cry in Ukraine’s army. The saying became popular among ordinary Ukrainians after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula in 2014. It has seen a resurgence after Moscow’s full-scale invasion launched last year. In the tribute video posted online, Ukrainian athletes representing several sports appear one-by-one saying “Glory to the Heroes!” It comes after a passionate call by President Volodymyr Zelensky. “I want us all to respond to his words together, in unity: ‘Glory to the Hero! Glory to the Heroes! Glory to Ukraine!'” he said earlier this week. Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and Taras Stepanenko, who plays for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk feature in the video. Legendary former player and now coach Serhiy Rebrov is also shown. Separately, Ukraine’s heavyweight world champion, Oleksandr Usyk, recorded a video of himself reciting a poem dedicated to the shot soldier, whose identity remains unclear. “Glory to Ukraine! – for these words you got a bullet,” he reads. “You’re no more – but memory is eternal of you, fighter”.(BBC)…[+]