The Ukrainian government has said its Premier League is set to commence in August amid Russia’s ongoing war.Ukrainian Youth and Sport Minister, Vadym Gutsait, made the declaration on Monday via his official Facebook page.
“The Ukrainian football championship will start on August 23,” Gutsait said. “We agreed to work out the procedure for organising and holding competitions under martial law.”Gutsait said games would be played without “spectators” and “during air raids, matches will be stopped and football players, coaches and the staff must quickly go to a shelter.”Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 had abruptly ended the country’s football league, with Shakhtar Donetsk leading Dynamo Kyiv by two points. But no winner was declared.Only on Monday, the Ukrainian government said it planned to raise a “million-strong army” equipped with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) weapons to retake the south of the country from Russian troops occupying the region.However, the comments by Ukraine’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, were seen as more of a rallying cry than a concrete plan for a counter-offensive.Russia is making progress in taking territory in the eastern Donbas region, as there was an attack on a block of flats on Sunday that killed at least 22 people while more residents are still missing.The building was located in Chasiv Yar, near the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region.The remarks of a counter-attack may be more of a rallying cry than a set plan, as there would not be any operational surprise in this attack now that it has been announced.Ukraine may be announcing this counter attack to force Russia to commit troops to the southern areas of the country away from other areas currently being attacked.Reznikov also said that retaking the country’s southern Black Sea coast was vital to the country’s economy.
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