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The Cats Living In A Bomb Shelter In Ukraine Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Oleksandr Kukin, the founder of a Manchester United fan group in Kyiv has been reportedly killed by Russian soldiers during the invasion of Ukraine.

Kukin was believed trying to help his family escape the capital of Ukraine when his car was shot at by Russian military forces, it resulted in him being killed. His wife, Alina and their daughter suffered from injuries, they have since been operated on and remain in hospital.

Kukin set up and managed the Kyiv Red Devils supporters group in Ukraine's capital back in 2002. He was caught up in the conflict that is currently happening in their country. While trying to assist his family to flee from Ukraine, his car came under artillery fire.

In a post online, the Kyiv Reds Facebook page wrote, "Oleksandr Kukin, one of the founders of the Kyiv Reds passed away tragically on the 3rd March 2022. Back in 2002, twenty years ago, Oleksandr started Manchester United supporters movement in Kyiv. Later he refocused on his family and could not dedicate all his time to our supporters club, but has often frequently joined us at Bestia Pub to enjoy the Red Devils play. This photo (shown above) shows Oleksandr's sincerest emotions during the War of Roses derby, 20 February 2021."

"Two weeks ago he tried to evacuate his family from the territory temporarily occupied by Russian armed forces, their car was shot by invaders. Oleksandr's wife and daughter have both gone through surgery and are now hospitalised, and we regret to say Oleksandr could not make it through. During his funeral, family placed a band with Manchester United logo in his coffin, they all knew how much he loved our club. As the famous United chant goes: 'Going on up to the spirit in the sky, it's where I'm gonna go when I die, when I die and they lay me to rest, I'm gonna go on the p*** with Georgie Best..." The post concluded, "You will always be remembered, my friend!"

The statement included a photo of Kukin’s wife and daughter lying in hospital beds, along with details of a bank account for donations to help in their recovery.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are among the clubs to have ended agreements with Russian sponsors following the invasion. Man Utd officially confirmed that their partnership with Russian airline Aeroflot had been canceled.

Man Utd also paid tribute to Kukin’s passing. "Manchester United is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Aleksander Kukin, one of the founding members of the Kyiv Reds supporters' club." The club is said to be finding ways to extend and offer support to Kukin and the Kyiv Reds.

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A fan of Manchester United holds up a Portugal flag for Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United as he warms up during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 8, 2022 in Burnley, United Kingdom. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

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