Back in March, we brought to your attention that the KHL’s only Ukraine-based team, Donbass Donetsk, had to move out of their home rink during a playoff run and play out of Bratislava in Slovakia instead. The area in Donetsk had become too dangerous from the proxy Russian invasion.
Now, it appears Donbass Donetsk may not be able to play out of their home arena next season, if at all.
According to reports, Donbass’ rink was looted of computers, TVs, communication equipment and a car by armed people, and then set on fire.
Here’s one of the early photos as the fire was being fought.
And here is what the imperfect google translate says the report (up top) roughly translates to:
In the night from 26 to 27 May, armed men broke into the arena, “Friendship”, tied the guard carried office equipment, plasma screens, communications, safety deposit boxes, which was a fan shop, stole a company car, and committed arson sports facilities.
There have been no reports of casualties or injuries.
It’s unclear, at this time, what this will mean for the Donetsk KHL team next season.
The Donetsk region has been a hot spot in the Russia-Ukraine conflict for a few months now. Anti-Kiev activists(?) have seized city buildings and declared a Donetsk People’s Republic. On Monday, the newly-elected Ukrainian government in Kiev sent its air force to strafe militants occupying the Donetsk airport.
So while Donbass may be without an arena next season, hockey is only a trivial matter in Donetsk today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent civilians in the area.