Three Brazilian soccer players flee Ukraine by bus and foot

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Three Brazilian footballers who play for Ukrainian Premier Liga club SK Dnipro-1 have fled the war-torn nation and crossed the border into Romania, they said on social media on Saturday.

Their escape came as President Jair Bolsonaro, writing on social media, said his government would not cease efforts to evacuate Brazilians from Ukraine.

Soccer players Gabriel Busanello, Bill and Felipe Pires all posted messages informing family and fans that they were safe.

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"We did it, after two days of lots of terror and tension we managed to get out...and we're on our way home," Bill, who uses only one name, said on Instagram in a video recorded on the Romanian side of the border. "We managed it, now we're fine."

Other Brazilian players were attempting to leave Ukraine by train.

Several players, many of whom play for Shakhtar Donetsk, posted photos of themselves and their families on a train heading out of the country.

One, Marlon Santos, posted a clip on Instagram saying, "We are still praying. The journey still has a way to go. It's all going to work out."

They did not say where the train was headed.

"I ask all Brazilians in contested territory to stay firm, follow instructions and report any incidents to us. I know about the difficulties, but we won't spare any efforts to solve them," Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter. He said 50 Brazilians had fled Ukraine by land.

The Brazilian government had asked some 500 Brazilians in Ukraine to stay in contact with its embassy.

On Saturday, the Brazilian Air Force said it had two KC-390 cargo planes ready to help evacuate Brazilian citizens.

"Now we have to help our people still in Ukraine," Felipe Pires, one of the three who escaped to Romania, wrote. "They really need our help and support."

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Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman

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