A bunch of Brazilian footballers based mostly in Ukraine appealed to their authorities to be rescued following Russia’s assault on their host nation on Thursday.
“All our friends and family, the situation is serious and we are prisoners in Kyiv awaiting a solution to get out,” Junior Moraes, a Shakhtar Donetsk participant who’s a naturalized Ukrainian, mentioned on Instagram.
“We are in a lodge. Pray for us.”
In a video recorded at a hotel where around a dozen players had gathered with wives and children, members of the group asked Brazilian authorities to come and rescue them.
“We actually really feel deserted as a result of we do not know what to do,” one of the women said. “We do not know resolve this example.”
The Brazilian foreign ministry later said the embassy in Kyiv was “open and devoted to defending the near 500 Brazilian residents in Ukraine.”
Without referring to any individuals or groups it urged Brazilians to remain in daily contact with the embassy and said those in the east of the country should move to the capital Kyiv if it is safe to do so.
Group members said they had gathered at the hotel to meet and discuss how to get out of their predicament.
“There is a scarcity of gas within the metropolis, the borders are closed, the air house is closed, we will not get out,” one of the men said.
Most of the players play with the Shakhtar Donetsk club, based in the east of the country.
Shakhtar has more than a dozen Brazilian players in their squad, while Dynamo Kyiv also has at last one Brazilian on their books. There was no immediate reply from Shakhtar to Reuters email request for comment. Dynamo Kyiv could not immediately be contacted for comment.
Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday in a mass assault by land, sea, and air, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.