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01st Mar 2022

Klitschko brothers on Vladimir Putin’s 23-man ‘kill list’ following Ukraine invasion

Daniel Brown

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also on the list

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have reportedly been named on Vladimir Putin’s 23-man ‘kill list’ following Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday (February 24), with several cities having already been hit with military attacks.

One of the cities affected is the capital, Kyiv, where former heavyweight world champion Vitali is currently mayor.

As reported by The Times, 400 highly-trained Russian mercenaries have been sent to the capital city with instructions to assassinate Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

It is thought that several of the mercenaries belong to the Wagner Group, which is a private military organisation with links to Putin. They reportedly flew in from Africa around a month ago and “hefty bonuses for killings” are reportedly being offered as an incentive.

While the Ukrainian president is viewed as Putin’s number one target – with the mercenaries given orders to terminate the government in exchange for a fee – it is claimed that the Klitschko brothers are also on the list of the Russian president’s targets.

Wladimir and Vitali have previously used their respective platforms to urge other countries to support Ukraine in their time of need, and the pair have officially taken up arms to fight against the Russians.

Speaking about the situation in his homeland, Vitali told Good Morning Britain that he felt he had “no other choice but to take up arms”, while Wladimir has been increasingly active on social media pleading for democracy.

He wrote: “The Ukrainian people are strong. And it will remain true to itself in this terrible ordeal. A people longing for sovereignty and peace. A people who consider the Russian people their brothers.

“It knows that they basically do not want this war. The Ukrainian people have chosen democracy.

“But democracy is a fragile regime. Democracy cannot defend itself; it needs the will of the citizens, the commitment of everyone. Basically, there is no democracy without democrats.”

The former two-time world heavyweight champion also called for Russia to be banned from competing in any international sport following the invasion.

Both FIFA and UEFA made the decision to suspend Russia from all football – at both international and club level.

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