Russia expresses its displeasure as Ukraine shows Euro 2020 kits

Ukraine sparked outrage in Moscow on Sunday when its football association presented Euro 2020 shirts depicting Russian-annexed Crimea and popular nationalist slogans. Euro 2020, which was postponed owing to the coronavirus epidemic, will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 11 locations, including Saint Petersburg. Seven matches, including a quarter-final, will be held in Russia’s second city.

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If you’re reading this have nice day! Andriy Pavelko, the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine, stated in a Facebook message that Ukrainian players will wear “unique uniforms,” and he uploaded photographs of the jerseys in the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The football uniforms display Ukraine’s contours, including Russia-annexed Crimea and the separatist-controlled territories of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as the slogans “Glory to Ukraine! “Honor to the Heroes!” “We feel that the silhouette of Ukraine will give the players strength since they will battle for all of Ukraine,” Pavelko added. The term “Glory to Ukraine” is a patriotic chant that became a rallying cry for demonstrators who overthrew a Kremlin-backed leader, Viktor Yanukovych, during a popular movement in 2014. Moscow condemned the insurrection as illegitimate, causing a rift in relations between the two countries. Russia annexed Crimea and backed Russian-speaking militants in eastern Ukraine. Since 2014, the war has taken the lives of over 13,000 individuals. The “Glory to Ukraine” appeal and response, as well as the “Glory to the Heroes” answer, are associated with Ukraine’s decades-long struggle for independence. Moscow has criticized the slogans for their connections with World War II-era nationalist parties that both fought against and collaborated with the Nazis.

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– ‘The Illusion of the Impossible’ –
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Ukraine’s football team “connected Ukraine’s land to Russia’s Crimea.” According to her, the pattern is reminiscent of the art method of “trompe l’oeil,” which confuses the sight and creates the “appearance of the impossible.” Zakharova further stated that Euro 2020 organizers and fans “should be aware” that Ukraine’s rallying cry “imitates” the infamous Nazi chant. “During the war, regular and irregular nationalist Ukrainian armed formations employed this Nazi battle cry,” Zakharova stated on the messaging app Telegram.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, declined to comment and referred any inquiries to UEFA, the governing body of European football. Several Russian legislators have accused Ukraine of politicizing football. “This is extremely inappropriate,” Dmitry Svishchyov, a politician, told the Kremlin-backed RT, formerly known as Russia Today, requesting UEFA to intervene.

“Then let our players take to the field wearing T-shirts depicting the contours of the Russian empire, which includes Poland, Ukraine, and Finland.” Former Russian Football Union general secretary Anatoly Vorobyov stated that if Russia formally protests, European football’s regulatory body may intervene. Following the quarter-final victory over Russia, Vukojevic released an Instagram video of himself and Croatia defender Domagoj Vida, who yelled “Glory to Ukraine!”

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