West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko ‘donates £75,000 to Ukraine’s Armed Forces’ to help defend his country in the wake of Russia’s invasion… just hours after missing his side’s win over Wolves on compassionate leave
- Ukraine and West Ham striker Andriy Yarmolenko has made a huge donation
- He has reportedly given £75k to Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help defend country
- Yarmolenko, 32, was granted compassionate leave by West Ham on Sunday
- He was born in Russia to Ukrainian parents, who moved back shortly after
West Ham’s Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko has reportedly made a huge £75,000 donation to his country’s Armed Forces in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
Yarmolenko is his country’s third most-capped player of all-time and appears to have dipped deep into his pocket to support the army as they fight to keep control of their homeland, with Russian troops crossing the border last week.
The 32-year-old was granted compassionate leave by West Ham on Sunday and he therefore missed the win over Wolves, but all of his team-mates wore shirts with his name on the back during their warm-up.
During the match itself, Ukraine flags were held aloft in the stands – and this was also the case at many other games around the Premier League and beyond at the weekend.
Yarmolenko’s selfless donation was posted on Twitter by @ZoryaLondonsk, an account which posts Ukrainian football news in English. The donation was for 3million Ukrainian hryvnia, equivalent to £74,540.
Until 2017, Yarmolenko – who reportedly earns £115,000-a-week at West Ham – plied his trade in Ukraine, most recently at Dynamo Kyiv.
Andriy Yarmolenko has reportedly made a huge £75,000 donation to Ukraine’s Armed Forces
At the London Stadium on Sunday, Yarmolenko’s face was beamed onto the big screens
Declan Rice held a shirt carrying Yarmolenko’s name, with the striker missing the match
He then moved to Borussia Dortmund for a season, before joining the Hammers in 2018.
Yarmolenko was born in Russia to Ukrainian parents, who then moved back to his homeland when he was a child.
Speaking before the match against Wolves on Sunday, West Ham boss David Moyes revealed: ‘He’s not in a very good position at the moment – we’ve given him a few days off.
‘I spoke with him yesterday and he was upset, which you can imagine. We just hope his family keep safe.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning, and there have already been hundreds of civilian casualties in the days since.
Furthermore, Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces to be put on high alert on Sunday, while Ukraine’s embattled leader agreed to talks with Moscow as Putin’s forces drove deeper into the country.
Yarmolenko was granted compassionate leave with his homeland embroiled in conflict
David Moyes said Yarmolenko was ‘not in a very good position at the moment’ amid the war
Putin cited ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO in issuing a directive to increase the readiness of his country’s nuclear weapons – a step that raised fears that the invasion of Ukraine could boil over into nuclear war, whether by design or mistake.
The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Amid the mounting tensions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office announced that the two sides would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border, where a Russian delegation was waiting on Sunday night.
But the Kremlin’s ultimate aims in Ukraine – and what steps might be enough to satisfy Moscow – remained unclear.
Yarmolenko is Ukraine’s third most-capped player ever and has scored 44 times for his country
Hundreds of civilians have already been killed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine