VLADIMIR Putin’s shoestring army has been forced to call up a 49-year-old former boxing World Champion to fight in Ukraine.
Giant Nikolai Valuev, who stands at 7ft tall, is the tallest and heaviest world champion in boxing history.
At his peak, he weighed 149kg, or almost 23 and a half stone.
After retiring in 2009, he went into politics and joined the Russian parliament or Duma in 2011 as a member of the Putin-backing United Russia party.
Such was his gargantuan size, a special chair had to be made for him to sit in when he attended parliament.
In 2010, Valuev’s doctor said he was treating the man mountain for “serious bone and joint problems”
He was forced to undergo two operations that required six months on the sidelines and confirmed in 2013 that medical advice was the main reason he wouldn’t return to the ring.
But that hasn’t stopped Putin’s army from calling him up for the frontline in Ukraine.
In an interview with Russian state media, he said he had been handed his summons when he was in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
Unlike his other parliamentary colleagues, he has been told to go to the military registration and enlistment office.
“In my opinion, everyone has received a summons, I also received a summons,” he told Russian language publication Izvestia. “Will I go? Of course, I will go to the enlistment office now.”
Speaking of his fellow MPs, he said: “My colleagues are good, they were registered for military service in the State Duma and received summons here, but I have to go home.
“I received the summons right before my trip to Donbas, and I was not at home.”
He added: “Next week I will definitely go and report to the enlistment office.”
Will I go? Of course, I will go to the enlistment office now
Valuev competed in the heavyweight category during his 16-year career between 1993 and 2009.
He was World Boxing Association world champion between 2005 and 2007, and again in 2009, when he was defeated by Brit David Haye in the so-called “David Vs Goliath” fight.
After retiring, the Daily Star reports that he has dedicated the past decade trying to prove the existence of the Russian “Bigfoot”.
Such was his obsession, that he even appeared on the 2013 Channel 4 series “Bigfoot Files” trekking through the Siberian wilderness.
In 2011, he went on a separate mission to try and track down Bigfoot, as reported by an official Russian government press release.
“Valuev did not manage to meet the yeti itself but on the way, he discovered ‘traces’ such as broken tree branches,” it read.
“By the time they reached the cave, the expedition saw gigantic footprints, similar to a human’s.”
It comes after ex-Everton and Russian footballer Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was called up to fight in Ukraine, his father revealed.
The 37-year-old midfielder, who made 59 appearances for the Toffees between 2009 and 2012, last served in the military almost two decades ago.
His dad Rinat confirmed that he had been signed up to fight in Putin’s disastrous war in Ukraine, despite being two years over the official cut-off age for new recruits of 35.
“Diniyar really received a summons,” he told Russian publication sports.ru.
“It is difficult to talk about emotions, because he did not serve, although he did military service, but it was specific, with a sports bias. It was 19 years ago.
“That is, yes, he took the oath, but served in the sports line. The law still says – to call people up to 35 years old, and he is 37, so there is some kind of inconsistency here.
“Now he will find out whether this agenda is correct or whether it was sent early. Anything can happen.”
The news follows revelations that staff from Russia’s national football team have refused to turn home from a friendly match in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, as hundreds of thousands try to flee from Putin’s partial mobilisation.
Tomorrow, tyrant Vlad is set to declare four Ukrainian regions as part of Russia in a major rally in Moscow.
The territories of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia, which make up around 15 percent of all of Ukraine, have held sham referendums in recent days over being annexed by Russia.
Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund
PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.
Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.
Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.
Donate here to help The Sun’s fund
Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles
£3 — text SUN£3
£5 — text SUN£5
£10 — text SUN£10
Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.
In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.
For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund