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03rd Mar 2022

Andriy Yarmolenko flies to Ukraine border to rescue family

Callum Boyle

Andriy Yarmolenko

Yarmolenko is flying to the border of Ukraine to help rescue his family

Andriy Yarmolenko has flown to the border of Ukraine in an attempt to rescue his wife and child following Russia’s brutal invasion of their homeland.

Yarmolenko’s former national team partner and current Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko revealed the news as he also claimed that his own family are refusing to leave the war-torn capital of Kyiv.

Andriy Yarmolenko flies to Ukraine border to rescue family.

In the seven days since the war started, Russian troops have closed in on Kyiv, with up to 2,000 civilians losing their lives while a million people have been displaced by the invasion, according to the UN refugee agency.

Yarmolenko was granted compassionate leave by West Ham United, missing his side’s win against Wolverhampton Wanderers as his teammates wore t-shirts in his honour during the warm-up.

Shevchenko on Yarmolenko.

The former Ukrainian striker and national team manager Shevchenko, however, has since revealed that Yarmolenko has in fact flown to Poland in order to bring his family back home safely.

“Andriy I think is flying now to Poland to get his wife,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m not sure but I know his wife, I think she is now across the border and she is probably coming here.

“I know how difficult it is for him – it’s a stressful time when his family are there.

“I can’t even concentrate. I just look at the news at what’s going on a little bit. I can’t watch even a football game.”

Yarmolenko has three sons – Maxim, Ivan and Danylo – with his wife Inna, however, it is unknown which of those is travelling with Inna.

Meanwhile, Shevchenko has said he is pondering returning to Ukraine to help his fellow countrymen fight back against Russian troops and that he is also trying to get his family out – but they are refusing to leave Kyiv.

“I’m so proud to be Ukrainian. It’s a very difficult moment for my country, my people, my family. My mum and sister are in Kyiv at the moment, and terrible things have happened there.

“I have tried [to convince my family to leave] many times, I have talked to them, but the answer is no. They want to stay there. This is the Ukrainian spirit.

“Football doesn’t exist for me anymore. I don’t think about it. It’s not the time for that. I’m not watching anything, any sport, anything.

“All my concentration, when I wake up, I think about how I can help my country, what I can do. I’ve started to call my parents, my friends, get updates on what’s going on in Ukraine. For me, this is my field, this is my concentration now.”