Club pays tribute to Kyiv Red Aleksander Kukin
Manchester United is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Aleksander Kukin, one of the founding members of the Kyiv Reds supporters' club.
A statement by the Kyiv Reds on Monday (21 March) confirmed that the much-admired United fan had been killed after his car was shot at by Russian forces.
His wife and daughter survived the tragedy, and have since undergone operations in hospital. We send our heartfelt condolences for their loss and best wishes for their recovery, as they attempt to deal with these awful events.
The club is exploring a number of ways in which it can offer its support to both Aleksander's family and the Kyiv Reds in due course.
Oleksandr Kukin, one of the founders of Kyiv Reds, has been killed by Russian invaders. His wife and child also shot and injured as they tried to escape. Sickening. pic.twitter.com/2215mDNwUb— Duncan Drasdo (@Drasdo) March 21, 2022
The Kyiv Reds began in 2002, and Aleksander was instrumental in its creation. In recent years, family commitments meant he could not commit as much of his time to the supporters' club, but his enthusiasm remained.
A recent photo shared by the group revealed Kukin enjoying the 4-2 win over Leeds just a few weeks before the end of his life.
Since his passing, a number of fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to his energy and passion for United, which manifested itself in many ways.
One fan, Ivan, wrote: "He used to take me to games in the local pub in Kyiv and drive me home after the midweek games when I was a kid. [He] posted my United articles on [the] Ukrainian Reds website and helped the growth of that movement nearly single-handedly, paying from his own pocket. Great great Man 🇾🇪."
During his funeral, a United memento was placed inside his coffin, as a symbol of his love for the club.
Ralf speaks out on war in UkraineArticle
The United boss believes everybody, including those in football, has a part to play in bringing the conflict to an end.
Manchester United has repeatedly spread an anti-war message since the outbreak of the fighting in Ukraine.
Prior to the Premier League game against Watford on 26 February, both sets of players stood behind a 'Peace' sign that was personally made by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The following Sunday, prior to the Manchester derby, the players completed a pre-match warm-up wearing T-shirts bearing the message: 'No War.'
Our thoughts continue to rest with everyone affected and displaced by the war in Ukraine.