the main points:
- The $36m donation comes after Shakhtar Donetsk received a record transfer fee for winger Mykhailo Modric.
- The donation is part of the “Heart of Azovstal” project.
- Ukrainian forces had been holed up in Azovstal steel mills for weeks while Russian forces attempted to take the city of Mariupol.
Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk will allocate $36 million to help soldiers and their families.
The announcement was made by club president Rinat Akhmetov on Monday, a day after he received a record transfer fee for winger Mykhailo Modric from Premier League Chelsea.
Ahmedov added that Shakhtar will play a friendly match against Chelsea at Donbass Arena in “Ukrainian Donetsk”.
Shakhtar said they will receive $109m for Modric, with another $47m in potential bonuses.
Akhmetov said the donation would be allocated as part of a project called “Heart of Azovstal” aimed “to help the defenders of Mariupol and the families of fallen soldiers”.
Ukrainian forces defending Mariupol had been holed up in Azovstal’s steelworks for weeks while Russian forces attempted to take the city. The Ukrainian soldiers eventually surrendered in May last year.
“I am dedicating $25 million ($36 million) today to help our soldiers, defenders and their families,” Akhmetov said in a statement on the club’s website.
“The funds will be used to cover various needs – from providing medical treatment, prostheses and psychological support to addressing specific requests.
“To ensure transparency, the project will have a professional and independent team who will be in contact with Azovstal advocates, their families, caregivers and volunteers.”
Shakhtar, the champions of Ukraine, are currently playing in Kyiv as their city is occupied by Russian forces.