Manchester United players and manager Ralf Rangnick join calls for peace in Ukraine as they hold up a banner with Watford ahead of kick-off at Old Trafford – with similar anti-war messages displayed around the Premier League
- Players from both teams gathered behind a banner with a peace symbol
- The words around it read “peace” in many languages, including Russian and Ukrainian
- The idea reportedly came from interim United boss Ralf Rangnick
Manchester United and Watford players protested the Russian invasion of Ukraine by holding up a banner ahead of their Premier League game.
United caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick held the banner which had the peace sign in the middle with the word peace in many languages around it.
Russian and Ukrainian were among the languages to feature on the sign, along with German, French, Spanish and English, and the gesture from both teams was applauded by the Old Trafford crowd.
The German – who is believed to have been behind the idea of holding the sign – was also pictured wearing a ‘NO WAR’ badge on the touchline.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Crystal Palace displayed a banner on the big screen at Selhurst Park reading ‘WE ARE WITH UKRAINE’ alongside a picture of the Ukrainian flag ahead of their game against Burnley.
A banner saying ‘NO WAR’ was also displayed ahead of Brighton’s game against Aston Villa, in which Matty Cash was controversially booked after celebrating his goal by displaying a t-shirt in support of a Polish team-mate caught up in the invasion of Ukraine. .
‘We support Ukraine’ banners featuring the face of Ukraine defender Vitaliy Mykolenko have already been displayed outside Goodison Park ahead of Everton’s latest clash with Manchester City.
Meanwhile, love hearts surrounding the word ‘Ukraine’ were displayed on electronic advertising during the early kick-off at Elland Road, where Tottenham beat Leeds 4-0.
Manchester United and Watford held up a sign protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ralf Rangnick was also seen wearing a ‘NO WAR’ badge on the touchline at Old Trafford
Crystal Palace displayed a banner on the big screen at Selhurst Park ahead of playing Burnley
There was also a ‘NO WAR’ banner displayed ahead of Brighton’s game against Aston Villa
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in the early hours of Thursday morning when Putin declared war.
On Saturday, defiant President Volodmyr Zelensky today said his country’s military had successfully repelled Russian forces advancing on Kiev and controlling the capital after a night of brutal fighting that saw terrified residents seek shelter underground.
In a video message to the beleaguered nation, Zelensky accused the Kremlin of trying to seize Kiev, overthrow the government and install a ‘puppet’ regime ‘like in Donetsk’, one of the two regions separatists that warmonger Vladimir Putin officially recognized before launching an all-out invasion.
Stating “we have smashed their idea,” he added, “Fighting is taking place in many cities and areas of our state. But we know that we are protecting the country, the land, the future of our children. Kiev and the main cities around the capital are controlled by our army.
Matty Cash was controversially sanctioned for taking off his shirt revealing a message of support for a Polish teammate caught up in the Ukraine invasion
A ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ banner featuring Vitaliy Mykolenko’s face was displayed outside Goodison Park
Love hearts surrounding the word ‘Ukraine’ were seen during the kick-off in Leeds
The idea to fly the banner reportedly came from Rangnick the same week United canceled a £40m sponsorship deal with Russian state-owned airline Aeroflot.
The gestures come after a high-rise apartment building in Kiev was hit by a devastating missile this morning, while the death toll among Ukrainian civilians stands at 198.
The British Ministry of Defense said the bulk of the Russian forces involved in the advance on Kiev were now 30 km (19 miles) from the city centre.
“Russia has not yet taken control of the airspace over Ukraine, which significantly reduces the effectiveness of the Russian Air Force,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. an intelligence update posted on Twitter.
But Armed Forces Minister James Heappey today said there was no reason to think a ‘happy ending is imminent’ as he warned the conflict could drag on for months.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russian forces had been pushed back from Kyiv