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grim message Fighting Klitschkos warn Russia there will be no winners in 'senseless war' in Ukraine

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv mayor and his brother Wladimir, who are both former world heavyweight boxing champions, are willing to fight for their country

The fighting Klitschko brothers have sent a defiant message to Russia, warning that the “senseless war” currently underway in Ukraine will not have any winners “but only losers”. 

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv mayor and his brother Wladimir, who are both former world heavyweight boxing champions, took to social media to call for their “international partners to observe this tragedy that is happening now in Ukraine".

"This senseless war is not going to have any winners but losers," they said in a piece to camera that has been tweeted across the world.

“I just want to tell you, we must stay united against this aggression, against Russian aggression," they add, "don't let it happen in Ukraine and don't let it happen in Europe."

Vitali (50) who has been mayor of Kiev since 2014, has already vowed to “take up arms" to defend his country while Wladimir has joined the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces.

Klitschko, who lives in the Ukrainian capital with his daughter, hoped his registration would motivate others in the city to stay strong in the face of an attack.

“Any parent is going to protect the environment of their child, and there are two ways, you can run, or you can face the challenge, so my choice was to take the challenge,” he said.

Ukraine’s Territorial Defence Forces launched in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, to train part-time reservists. Last year, as fears grew over Russia’s troop deployment, it opened up to civilians.

Meanwhile, 50-year-old brother Vitali has said: "I go to a shooting range. I can fire from almost any weapon”.

Both brothers are considered the Ukraine's most famous sports stars, winning 109 bouts in 117 boxing matches with 94 knockouts and more than 40 wins between them.

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In a direct message to Vladimir Putin, Vitali earlier warned that there would be a “painful price to pay, not just for Ukraine” for an invasion.

“We promise it will be a painful price for any aggressor who comes to our country,” he said. "We're ready to fight and defend our families and our defend our country.”

Mayor Klitschko said he was concerned that Russian aggression is part of an attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union.

“We don’t want to go back to the USSR, we see our future as a modern European democratic country, Ukraine,” he said previously.

"We Ukrainians are not aggressive to anyone, we are a peaceful country, peaceful people live here and what happens could be a disaster... a disaster for the whole region, for the whole of Europe, for the whole world.

"Mr Putin does not accept our wish", he continued, accusing the Russian leader of living "in the past".

He said "unity" is "very important" between "all European countries and Ukraine".

European countries should not be held "hostage" by Russia due to reliance on gas, he added, and "that's why not just Ukraine has to calculate their near future also".

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