Euros split residents of war-ravaged east Ukraine

As Ukraine readies to take on England in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, locals in the eastern city Donetsk are split on who to support.

Ukraine lost control of the industrial city to Russian-backed separatists seven years ago.

The question cuts to the heart of the war-ravaged area's identity.

And some residents there feel closer to Russia, despite living on territory internationally recognized as Ukraine.

It was in Donetsk where Ukraine hosted England at the 2012 Euros, a time that Sergei Rudenko feels nostalgic for.

"You know, you have to experience the atmosphere, to be there, to feel that. Words will not give you understanding of what it was like. There were many countries, people with different backgrounds from all over the world. And they were involved in a common project."

Some in Donetsk switched their sporting allegiance after the region's political transformation and supported the Russian national soccer team, rather than Ukraine, at the Euros.

Viktor, a 70-year old pensioner, was cheering on Russia, who went out in the group stage.

"I cheered for Russia, but it exited. Then I cheered for France, but it eliminated too. Now I cheer for England. During England-Ukraine match, I will cheer for England only."

The Ukrainian government, which wants Donestsk and the wider region back , has tried to use the tournament to promote unity.

Ukraine last month also unveiled a Euro jersey that featured the country's borders, which included Crimea.

That caused anger in Russia, which says Crimea is part of its territory, despite still being internationally recognised as Ukraine.

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