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The destructive force of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine continues to cast a dark shadow over the region. Amidst the suffering and devastation, a glimmer of hope and unity emerges through the power of sport. The German Bundestag President, Bärbel Bas, recently unveiled an interactive installation outside the German Parliament building, showcasing the remains of the Sonyachny Stadium from Kharkiv.

The Sonyachny Stadium, once a symbol of pride and excitement as one of Ukraine’s host cities for the European Championship in 2012, now stands as a testimony to the destructive consequences of conflict. Severely damaged by Russian missiles in 2022, the stadium’s remains have found a new temporary home in Berlin.

The interactive installation, created by the Ukrainian Association of Football, allows visitors to experience the stadium in its current state through virtual reality. By immersing themselves in this virtual world, they can witness the extent of the destruction caused by the war.

Through this project, Bas emphasizes the duality of emotions that exist parallel to one another. On one hand, there is the joy and spirit of the European Championship, bringing nations together in friendly competition. On the other hand, there is the harsh reality of the war that has torn communities apart, leaving behind a trail of shattered buildings and broken dreams.

This installation serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of humanity and the indomitable spirit of sport. Despite the destruction and loss, the passion for football remains unyielding. By showcasing the remains of the Sonyachny Stadium, we honor the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people and send a message of solidarity and support in their ongoing struggle.

In the face of adversity, sport becomes a symbol of hope, bridging divides and fostering unity. As we admire this interactive installation, let us reflect on the power of sport to heal, rebuild, and inspire.