Oleksander Zinchenko, a Ukrainian Manchester City player, said that if not for his family’s opposition, he would be in Ukraine as part of the civilian army.
In a moving interview with former player Gary Lineker for the BBC, the midfielder said he felt powerless over Russian military entry into his country.
“I will be very honest. If it wasn’t for my daughter, for the family here, I would be here. I still am. I know the people of my country, the mentality, I think the same way. I am very proud to be Ukrainian and always will be…”
With wet eyes, he confirms the obvious: “I can’t stop crying. It’s been a week, I don’t really count, but even when I get home from training, wherever that is, I start crying. I have it all in my head. I imagine the place where I was born, where I grew up, all devastated.
“I’m just crying. I promise you, I’m just crying.”
Manchester United defender Oleksandr Zinchenko has thanked the world for standing with Ukraine#StandWithUkraine? #closetheskyoverUkraine #UkraineUnderAtta?k #No-fly zone #StopRussianAggression pic.twitter.com/3T4gF6yMx6
— ???? ? ??? (@babaikit) March 5, 2022
Zinchenko recalled the first day of the invasion, February 24. “At midnight, my wife came to wake me up crying. I was shocked. Showed me videos. We feel the way someone feels when someone close to us is dying. But it’s much worse. My mission now is to show the world what is happening, to counter Russian propaganda,” he said.
The player also said he was disappointed with the silence of his Russian colleagues, with Dzyuba even criticizing the suspension of the national team and the Russian teams.
“I was surprised that no one, not one, said anything against it. Many of them play for the national team, have social media followers. They can help end this war because people will listen to them.