War in Ukraine: Senegalese defender tells of his fleeing to Poland

El Hadji Pape Diaw.
War in Ukraine: Senegalese defender tells of his fleeing to Poland

El Hadji Pape Diaw fled Ukraine to escape the Russian bombing. The Rukh Lviv player recounts his hours of anguish.

Russia attacked Ukraine on Thursday 24 February. The Ukrainian league (Premier-Liha) is suspended. Foreign players are trying to escape the conflict by leaving the country. El Hadji Pape Diaw, has already succeeded. The Senegalese defender of Rukh Lviv escaped by car to Poland. He arrived this Friday 25 in a hotel in Krakow (South). After several hours of anguish. "I was awakened by a siren," he told RMC Sports.

El Hadji Pape Diaw is "safe and sound". But he was hot. "We went to ask at the club and they told us that the Russians were attacking," says the 27-year-old. There was panic in the team and we learned that the championship was suspended. Even if we weren't on the side of the bombing, we shouldn't linger there too long. (...) Everyone wanted to save their skin, it wasn't easy."

It was a general "sauve-qui-peut".
El Hadji Pape Diaw returned to Poland at 3am. We crossed the border at around midnight," he says. We had to be patient. The main thing was to leave the country. There were a lot of checks. I was very afraid that we would not be able to pass. There were too many cars. Ukrainians, foreigners, it was a general rush. Everyone wanted to cross the border, to get around the queue... We had to get away as quickly as possible.

The Senegalese defender played in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 between 2019 and 2021. Indeed, he wore the jersey of Caen and Angers.


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