TWO Ukrainian soccer players and a young skier were killed as the brutal Russian invasion continued.
Athletes have been mercilessly murdered by Putin’s henchmen, as the death toll in Ukraine continues to soar.
The tragic youth team player with second division Karpaty Lviv, 21-year-old Vitalii Sapylo, was massacred by Russian troops in a fierce battle near Kyiv.
He joined the army as a tank commander to defend his country against the onslaught of Russian soldiers.
Dmytro Martynenko, 25, an amateur player for regional club FC Gostomel, died with his mother when their apartment complex near the capital was bombed.
The aces are said to be the sport’s “first reported loss in this war”.
Sapylo was hailed as a “hero” by his teammates after it emerged he had died heroically fighting the Russian army last Friday.
A club statement said: “We cherish the eternal memory of this hero.”
International football federation FIFPRO paid tribute to the couple in a poignant statement confirming their deaths.
It said: “Our thoughts are with the family, friends and teammates of young Ukrainian players Vitalii Sapylo and Dmytro Martynenko, who were the first to report losses in this war.
“May you both rest in peace.”
Promising professional skier Yevhen Malyshev was also killed in battle while trying to stop the Russian advance.
The 20-year-old, from Ukraine’s youth team, gave up his skateboard two years ago to serve in the army,
The Ukrainian Biathlon Federation confirmed his tragic passing in a statement.
It said: “We deeply sing for our homeland, for friends and family. Eternal memory of Yevhen Malyshev.”
The sports world has been shaken by the deaths of young stars, providing another stark reminder of the human cost of conflict.
A series of famous Ukrainian athletes have joined the front lines to defend their homeland.
Boxing champion Vasyl Lomachenko, 34, has enlisted in the territorial army.
He proudly shared a photo of himself in military uniform, warning the Russians that a world champion in three different weight classes awaits them.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4801921/ukrainian-footballers-skier-killed-brutal-russian-invasion/ Two Ukrainian soccer players and young skier killed in brutal Russian invasion