Russian-born champ Papadopoulos condemns Ukraine invasion

2022-02-26T22:09:27+00:00 2022-03-27T15:53:34+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

26/Feb/22 22:09

Lazaros Papadopoulos sent a message in Russian in support of Ukraine.

By Eurohoops team/

Russian-born former EuroLeague and EuroBasket champion Lazaros Papadopoulos uploaded a video on his social media where he slams Russia for the invasion into Ukraine.

Papadopoulos, a retired Greek player who was born in Krasnodar in 1980 when the Soviet Union existed, spoke in Russian and described the war as “an invasion by a dictatorial regime into a free country to “establish tyranny.” His full statement  is as follows:

“I am Lazaros Papadopoulos and I was born in Krasnodar. Today I live in Greece and I have the opportunity to freely express my position about the invasion of Russian armies onto Ukrainian soil.

Unfortunately, there are no institutions in Russia so that people could be able to express their opinion and prevent aggression. I, as a Russian-speaking Greek who was born and lived in a totalitarian state, can evaluate the situation better and compare life between a free society where thoughts can be expressed, and a society in which people go to prison because they think.

In this difficult moment, I can’t stay silent and I can’t but call all Russian-speaking people who live in free countries to express their position.

My position is that this isn’t just a war of Russia against Ukraine but an invasion by a dictatorship regime onto the soil of a free country with the goal of establishing tyranny.

I want to express my deep sympathy to all the Ukrainian people and to tell you that you not only defend your country but that you defend democracy and Freedom. I want to tell you that you are not alone in this battle. Thank you.”

Papadopoulos moved to Greece from Russia in 1990. A 7-foot center, he won the 2002 EuroLeague championship with Panathinaikos Athens and 2012 title with Olympiacos Piraeus while also playing for such clubs as Real Madrid, Dynamo Moscow and Thessaloniki teams PAOK and Iraklis.

As a member of the Greek national team, he became a EuroBasket champion in 2005 and silver medalist in the 2006 World Cup.