Russian mass media republished last year April Fool’s joke about the defender of FC Shakhtar Yaroslav Rakytskiy refusing to play for the Ukrainian national team.

Fake interview was published by the site Information center. November 23 in the morning it appeared on many Russian sport and news sites, among them Russia Today,, Russian news service,, Russian version of Eurosport.

Russia Today website screenshot
Russia Today website screenshot

“Look, to say honestly I am fed up with all of this and I have made a decision to retire from the national team of Ukraine. You see, maybe I have something wrong with me. But for me my country is Donbas. Nobody would argue that this is a unique place. People, born and raised there, have their specific mentality, specific concepts of life. I am ready to devote myself totally to Shakhtar. But I can’t play for the team of Banderivets,” cites Rakytskiy’s words with the reference to Information center.

“The last straw was our match in Saturday in Lviv. I heard horrible things from the stands. And Lviv fans have Bandera and Shukhevych on their banners. They are murderers. We have been told this at school”, allegedly said the footballer. “That’s why I personally stand for the Joint Championship. Donbas was, is and will be with Russia. And if we had now the middle of the 90-s, I would have played for the national team of Russia, like Vitia Onopko. Without a moment’s hesitation.”

As it turned out, this “news” was published nineteen month ago. It was posted by the Ukrainian site on April 1, 2013. website screenshot website screenshot

FC Shakhtar has already refuted this information. Some of the media, which published this fake, apologized and removed false information from their sites.