‘Tomorrow is too late’: Wladimir Klitschko calls on world to ‘stop Putin’ amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The former heavyweight boxing champion’s brother Vitali is mayor of Kyiv

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 26 February 2022 14:43 GMT
UN Security Council erupts in applause for Ukrainian victims

Wladimir Klitschko has called on European nations to put pressure on Russia to cease its invasion of Ukraine.

Three children were among the 198 Ukrainians killed since Russia’s invasion began this week, Ukraine’s health minister said on Saturday, and officials in the capital city of Kyiv are warning people to seek shelter away from gunfire and missiles as street fighting begins against Russian forces.

Klitschko and his brother Vitali are both retired boxing champions, with the latter currently serving as mayor of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Both men have taken up arms to defend their home country.

“I’m addressing the entire world to stop this war that Russia has started,” Wladimir said in an Instagram video on Saturday, with a #StopPutin hashtag forming part of its caption.

“Just today, civilians were shot by the rockets. With special operations, citizens getting killed... it’s happening in the heart of Europe.

“There’s no time to wait, because it’s going to lead into a humanitarian catastrophe. You need to act now to stop Russian aggression with anything you can have – now.

“In an hour or by tomorrow, it’s gonna be too late. Please get into action now. Don’t wait, act now. Stop this war.”

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko’s compatriot and heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile, urged Russian president Vladimir Putin to call off the invasion of Ukraine and “negotiate”.

Furthermore, Ukrainian ex-champion Vasiliy Lomachenko shared a message of peace on his Instagram page, posting an image of two hands – painted in the colours of the Russian and Ukrainian flags respectively – forming the shape of a dove.

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