A restaurant worker at The Deck in Shepparton has been fired after drawing an “extremely disturbing” advertisement on a sandwich board outside the venue. It appeared to encourage people to bet on the odds of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Photos on social media over the weekend showed the names and flags of the two countries written on a chalkboard outside the bar. Sums of money were written underneath the two countries and were believed to depict their betting chances.

“The Deck in Shepparton taking the opportunity to show absolutely no humanity,” said one user on Twitter on Sunday.

Another added: “Nice to see that The Deck in Shepparton think [the current situation in Ukraine] is all a big game… as if people aren’t dying and families aren’t being torn apart.”

A spokesperson for the venue said in a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page the employee involved was the only person on shift at the venue.

They said the venue usually isn’t normally open in the morning but made an exception because it had a breakfast booking catering to 13 people.

The employee involved left the sandwich sign by the entry stairs without management or other staff’s knowledge. Management then allegedly found out about the sign as everyone else did.

It was taken down the second they were alerted to it. The business told the employee to go home and that they would no longer be working there.

The spokesperson also urged people in the statement not to attack the individual or staff at The Deck because they had copped a tonne of verbal abuse and physical harassment. They claim that someone was “waiting at a staff member’s home”.

“In the past 24 hours this person and staff of The Deck have been bullied, job-shamed, verbally abused and have had promised threats of violence,” they said in the statement.

“None of the staff on the current roaster at The Deck are responsible for the message and are as heartbroken as we all are about the current situation in Ukraine. The poor taste of the sign does not represent any staff members who are currently working at The Deck from the top to the bottom.

“Please stop the hate and anger on staff who weren’t present, that sign did not come from any of them and they don’t deserve the abuse.”

The Guardian reported that Russian troops had entered the Ukraine capital city of Kyiv on Saturday morning as fighting broke out into the streets.

Image: Twitter [@KatyLovegood] / The Deck