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This Ukrainian footballer begged his dad and mom to run away. They stated they might be protected in suburban Bucas


    But they had been adamant that they might be nice hiding of their outdated house within the leafy suburb of Buka.

    Thankfully, whereas Shlyakotin’s dad and mom supplied some reassurance, they finally got here round—the primary Russian tanks fled simply earlier than they rolled in. Now they await refugee standing in Germany and tear their son and daughter with every phone name.

    “A few days after explaining them, I watched videos of the crushed roads—everything looked terrifying, like after World War II. Then I realized, ‘Hey, this looks so familiar to me,'” Shlyakotin stated, a goalkeeper Hong Kong Premier League membership Hong Kong Rangers.

    “Then the boy in the video says it’s Voxalna Street, Buka. Had they been, they might not have been alive. Our house was destroyed.

    “A couple of weeks after that, there have been scenes of individuals mendacity on the street with their fingers tied, shot within the head. It’s unattainable to course of. Thank God they left.”

    a journey full of dangers

    Shlyakotin does not know what happened to his parents’ apartment, as all his neighbors had fled as well.

    It was a dangerous journey for the couple in their 60s, who had to flee by car as the airport was under heavy fire. The temperature was below zero and he had no extra clothes.

    The streets were so crowded with fleeing Ukrainians – some of them carrying children and animals on foot – that it took them four days to reach the Polish border, a journey that would normally take eight hours.

    “It appears like some sort of film. On the final day, they helped deliver three youngsters from one other household throughout the border, as a result of the daddy on the street behind them couldn’t go away the nation,” Shlyakotin stated.

    Ukraine footballer Roman Zozulya and fellow volunteers stuff an ambulance to be sent to Ukraine with care packages in Madrid, Spain.

    The footballer just isn’t looking for sympathy.

    “You want to grasp that when the tales appear wild, we’re fortunate. We don’t have anything to complain about. Right now in Ukraine, in case you misplaced your house however everyone seems to be alive (then) You do not even open your mouth to say one thing dangerous has occurred to you,” he said.

    “(Many youngsters) reside with out their dad and mom … individuals are writing cellphone numbers, surnames and dates of beginning on the backs of their youngsters in case they die the following day.”

    a high goal

    However, what Shlyakotin wants, former goalkeeper of the Ukraine national youth team is funding to help those stranded back home.

    And she has found a surprising level of support in her adopted Hong Kong home.

    Starting his football career at the prestigious Dynamo Kyiv youth academy, now 32-year-old Shlyakotin has been a Hong Kong fan favorite since moving to their top league in 2016.

    And he has found that he can take advantage of that popularity for a good cause, receiving overwhelming response to his Instagram video post in which he asks Hong Kong for help.

    “I bought hundreds of messages of help from day one,” he said. “I used to be stunned how many individuals needed to assist,” Shlyakotin stated.

    One of three ambulances loaded with first aid resources and funded by Hong Kong donors is to be flown from Spain to Ukraine.

    Since then his appeals have helped to ship 9 ambulances to Ukraine, three of them solely paid for by donations from Hong Kong, and numerous smaller choices.

    “There was a man who contacted me on Facebook, a Mr. Lam, who wrote ‘Hey Alex, I noticed the information on Ukraine and I need to donate $10,000 Hong Kong {dollars} (about $1,300), however I need to assist a selected individual. or households who really want it. If you recognize anybody, please let me know.’

    “I had simply heard a few mom and two daughters from Chernihiv whose home was destroyed and so they had been scared to go someplace. So we despatched them cash.

    “The family was shocked – they couldn’t believe something like this was possible. A man from Hong Kong, a place they hadn’t even heard of, would suddenly help.

    “Those are the moments the place I do know that humanity continues to be alive – that there’s nonetheless some good on this planet.”

    a team effort

    Two close friends are helping Shlyakotin in his endeavours.

    Oresta Britt is a volunteer who has been feeding and transporting children and the elderly since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, while Roman Zozulya is a former teammate of the Dynamo Kyiv youth team playing in Spain, who is an ambulance in that country. Help to buy, service and repair. before being sent to Ukraine.

    Ukrainian footballer Roman Zozulya holds a 'Thank You Hong Kong' sign in front of an ambulance to be sent from Spain to Ukraine.

    Each ambulance requires documentation from the Ukrainian embassy, ​​then to be registered in a selected navy unit.

    Once these packing containers are ticked, “we fill our ambulances with humanitarian help, and our volunteers take them to the border earlier than my (workforce) will get to the ultimate vacation spot,” says Shlyakotin.

    Zozulya said he and Shlyakotin were just part of a network of foreign Ukrainian footballers “united to assist.”

    “While some are combating on the entrance strains, we’ve got our [role] as public figures,” said Zozulya.

    “We have this chance that others wouldn’t have – we will discuss to the entire world and be heard by an enormous variety of folks.”


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