Ukraine footballer Oleksandr Zinchenko said he hopes Vladimir Putin suffers the ‘most painful suffering death’ after the Russia president launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine.
The Manchester City defender, 25, said on Tuesday that he ‘can’t stand back’ whilst ‘the whole civilized world is concerned about my country’ and has again taken to social media on Thursday morning.
Zinchenko, on his Instagram story, posted a photo of Putin with the caption: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature.’
Russia have launched all-out war on Ukraine with missiles and bombs, tanks rolling across the border from Belarus, troops parachuted down on eastern regions and explosions seen across the country after Putin personally gave the order for his forces to attack.
‘Hundreds’ of Ukrainian troops were killed in early clashes, Kiev said, as the fight came to them on all fronts at a moment’s notice. Cruise missiles, guided bombs and GRAD rockets took out targets from east to west – aimed at airfields, military bases, ammo dumps, and command posts.
It came after Putin gave an extraordinary early-morning address to the Russian nation – delivered during a UN meeting aimed at avoiding war – in which he declared a ‘special military operation’ to ‘de-militarise’ and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine in what amounted to a outright declaration of war.
The Russian strongman also issued a chilling warning to any country thinking of coming to Ukraine’s aid, vowing ‘consequences greater than any you have faced in history’.
Oleksandr Zinchenko says he hopes Vladimir Putin suffers the ‘most painful suffering death’
The Ukraine international said on Tuesday that he ‘can’t stand back’ whilst ‘the whole civilized world is concerned about my country’
Putin is pictured in the early hours of Thursday morning declaring war on Ukraine, in what he termed a ‘special military operation’
Ukrainian President Zelensky has given his own address – delivered from home – in which he declared martial law and vowed to resist the Russian attack, come what may. ‘Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine,’ he said.
Underlining the gravity of the moment, Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said: ‘Starting today, the world has a new geopolitical reality. Either Ukraine and the world will stop the new Hitler now, or there will be a Third World War.’
Western leaders lined up to condemn Russia’s actions in the early hours, with security councils convened the world over to mount a response. Heavy sanctions are expected to follow, along with more shipments of military equipment to Ukraine – provided they can find a route in.
Five Russian jets were reportedly shot out of the sky over the eastern Donbass region before Moscow boasted of taking out all anti-aircraft defences, giving them control of the skies.
The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts, with bombs and missiles striking targets across the country, ground forces rolling in from Belarus, Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk, and paratroopers dropping on Kharkiv
A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia
An explosion lights up the night sky over Kiev in the early hours of Thursday, as Russia launched an all-out attack on Ukraine from north, south and east with bombs, cruise missiles and rockets raining from the skies
Smoke rises over Chuhuiv military airfield in eastern Ukraine after a Russian airstrike aimed at taking out the air force
Ukrainian border guards said they had come under attack by heavy artillery, tanks and troops from Russia and Belarus – as Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko threw his forces into the fight.
Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv in the east of Ukraine all reported coming under attack, but blasts were also reported in the west – in Zhytomyr and Lviv, close to the border with Poland.
Extraordinary video footage showed what appeared to be a cruise missile slamming into Ivano-Frankivsk airport, also in the west.
Meanwhile pro-Russian rebel forces pushed out from the occupied Donbass region, capturing two villages and claiming to have shot two Ukrainian jets out of the skies.
The port city of Odessa, where Ukraine’s main naval base is located, also came under attack – though reports of an amphibious assault could not be verified.