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World boxing champ Usyk compares Putin’s Russia to ‘Third Reich’

“You are the Third Reich in all the variety of its manifestations. What Hitler didn’t do, your president continues to do. Can you imagine? Yes.”

Usyk v Joshua 2 Press Conference Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

As the invasion of Ukraine approaches its first anniversary next month, Oleksandr Usyk took aim at Russia, referring to the country as an incarnation of the “Third Reich.”

Speaking in a video posted on his Instagram, the 35-year-old world heavyweight champion added that Russian president Vladimir Putin is furthering “Hitler’s work.”

“The Russian Federation is Ukraine’s enemy,” Usyk said in the video (h/t Newsweek). “It is an enemy that wants to kill all the people in the world. They say that they will hit France, Poland, Britain.”

When Russia launched its war in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Usyk returned to his homeland and joined the country’s territorial defense battalion. He was later allowed to leave the country to prepare for his rematch against Anthony Joshua, whom he would defeat by split decision on Aug. 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

While Usyk is no longer a soldier, he has continued to use his platform to give voice to the Ukrainian people and to take aim at Russia, even going so far as to compare them to Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

“You attacked Ukraine, supposedly to protect Russians who do not want your protection. The same way you attacked Czechoslovakia years ago you came to other cities and to Georgia, et cetera,” Usky said in the video. “You come everywhere with protection, but you do not protect Russians in Russia itself. You do not protect them in any way. You are fighting against fascism and nazism, which does not exist.

“You are the Third Reich in all the variety of its manifestations. What Hitler didn’t do, your president continues to do. Can you imagine? Yes.”

Usyk is currently in negotiations to face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a title unification bout. As with Usyk’s most recent fight against Anthony Joshua, the bout could potentially take place in Saudi Arabia.


About the author: Karim Zidan is an investigative reporter for Bloody Elbow focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. His work is also a contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian. (full bio)