On 24 February, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of neighbouring Ukraine which has been widely condemned by western nations.
Many western nations have imposed harsh sanctions on Russia as a result of the war, while sporting authorities across the globe have banned athletes and events related to the country.
In motorsport, MotoGP governing body the FIM has cancelled all events in Russia and suspended Russian and Belarusian licence holders from competing in FIM-sanctioned races.
The most high profile motorsport-related consequence of the clampdown on Russia came in Formula 1, with the Haas team cutting ties with title sponsor Uralkali and driver Nikita Mazepin – whose father Dmitry owns the company.
Both Mazepins have been listed on the UK and EU’s sanctions list of high profile Russian subjects.
Many sports series and sporting entities have also been doing their part to offer help to Ukraine since the war began.
Yamaha is the latest company related to motorsport to do so, announcing on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix that it will donate $700,000 in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
In a short statement issued to the media, Yamaha – who won the MotoGP title in 2021 with Fabio Quartararo – offered its “deepest sympathies” to the people of Ukraine.
“Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced its decision today to donate 700,000 U.S. dollars toward humanitarian aid for Ukraine and its surrounding regions,” the statement read.
“This donation will be made through Japan Platform, a non-profit organisation, and the funds will be used explicitly for delivering humanitarian aid to those in need.
“Yamaha Motor expresses its deepest sympathies to all the victims affected by this crisis and hopes for a return to peace as quickly as possible.”
Ahead of the season-opening Qatar GP last week, MotoGP staged its pre-season group photo of the riders in front of a banner that read ‘united for peace’ in acknowledgment of the war in Ukraine.
A number of riders – including Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli – have carried the message on their crash helmets, with several teams also adding messages of support for Ukraine to their motorcycles.