Toronto Raptors guard Svi Mykhailiuk and former Raptors big Alex Len, the NBA’s only Ukrainian players, issued a joint statement Thursday afternoon condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine,” the statement read. “We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide their own destiny. We pray for our families, friends, relatives and all the people who are in the territory of Ukraine. We hope for an end to this terrible war as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, hold on! Our strength is in unity! We are with you!”
Mykhailiuk still has family in Ukraine who are reportedly safe and trying to leave the country as Russia continues its invasion, according to Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas.
Len, who briefly played for Toronto last season, now plays for the Sacramento Kings. He’s originally from Antratsyt, a city located in the southeasternmost area of the country.
Mykhailiuk is from Cherkasy, a city in central Ukraine, about two and a half hours southeast of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.