Ukraine coach Serhiy Rebrov said on Sunday it was vital for the team to participate at Euro 2024 to "show the spirit" of a country ravaged by war since the Russian invasion began two years ago.

Former Dynamo Kyiv and Tottenham striker Rebrov has led Ukraine to a fourth successive appearance at the competition, despite the backdrop of the largest European conflict since World War II.

"I think it's very good and very important to Ukraine to be on this stage," said the 50-year-old Rebrov, who took over as Ukraine coach in June 2023.

"Ukraine wants to be a European nation. I think it's very important to be represented in the European Championship."

On Friday ambassadors from the European Union's 27 member states "agreed in principle" on beginning accession negotiations with Ukraine on June 25.

More than a million Ukrainians have found refuge in Germany since the outbreak of war. Rebrov expressed his gratitude to the Euro 2024 host nation for all the aid his country had received.

"We are grateful to German fans for their support for Ukraine. They support our fight against terrorism and they support Ukraine on the football pitch," he said.

"When we come to Germany it's like playing at home."

"We want to remind people the war is continuing. We still need support to continue to fight for our freedom."

Rebrov said he received countless messages from people back home, including those fighting on the frontlines, ahead of Monday's opening match against Romania in Munich.

Ukraine will also face Slovakia and Belgium in Group E.

"We're here to show the spirit of Ukraine. This tournament is really about this spirit of our country," said Rebrov.

"We have to live with the things that have happened in our country. It's more motivation for our players."

Defender Illia Zabarnyi, who plays for Premier League club Bournemouth, started every game during Ukraine's run to the quarter-finals of the Euros in 2021.

"It's a great honour to represent Ukraine. (With) what times we're going through right now, I feel increased responsibilities for my actions," said Zabarnyi.

"For us it's a very emotional moment. When you see Ukraine flags in the stadium... when you're just checking the news, what's going on at home and you understand how it's difficult to be there and say words, I just want to say thanks to everyone who is coming to support us." 

"It's difficult. Children, women, just civilian people died every day and I think it needs to stop."