F1 drivers to support UNICEF appeal for Ukraine

Formula One and teams have already made a 'generous donation', the sport said, without specifying a number.

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Formula One drivers will gather together on the grid ahead of Sunday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to raise awareness of UNICEF's emergency fundraising appeal for its programmes helping children and families in Ukraine and other conflict zones, the sport said on Sunday.

The 20 drivers will stand on the grid behind a banner in support of the appeal, urging fans to consider donating to the United Nations children's agency's appeal.

Formula One and teams have already made a "generous donation", the sport said, without specifying a number.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia's siege of the port city of Mariupol was "a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come", while local authorities said thousands of residents there had been taken by force across the border.

"Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory," the city council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Additionally, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych says the front lines between Ukrainian and Russian forces are “practically frozen” as Russia does not have enough combat strength to advance further.

“(Over the past day) there were practically no rocket strikes on (Ukrainian) cities,” Arestovych added.