Oleksandr Zinchenko hits out former team-mates at Russian club Ufa for not speaking out against invasion of Ukraine.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, a Manchester City footballer, has expressed his displeasure with former teammates in Russia who have yet to speak out against their country’s atrocities in Ukraine.
Zinchenko, a 25-year-old Russian defender, spent a season and a half with Ufa before joining City in the summer of 2016.
Oleksandr Zinchenko hits out and says he feels betrayed by friends in Russia who have failed to oppose Vladimir Putin’s savage invasion of his motherland.
Speaking to The Guardian, Zinchenko said, ‘I have friends over there, a small circle, but now it has reduced almost to nothing.’
‘I’m so disappointed. The guys I know called me as soon as the invasion happened, texting me: “I’m so sorry, Alex, but we can’t do anything.”
‘Of course, you can. If you stay silent it means you support what is happening in Ukraine right now, and I can’t see why they would.
‘Maybe they are scared because we see pictures on social media of Russians being taken to prison if they protest.
‘But look at footballers in particular or anyone with a massive audience.
‘Can you believe that, if all of them posted something on Instagram at the same time saying: “Guys, we are against the war, we need to stop it,” they would all be arrested?
Zinchenko said: ‘It’s a nightmare. A shock to the whole world, the things they have done. Terrible, scary things.
‘They killed our civilians. They killed our children. They raped our women and girls. They killed our dogs and even ate them. I cannot even begin to describe how I feel about them.
‘I hate them so much, for everything they have done to the Ukrainian people and Ukraine. And I hate the people in Russia who are trying to convince others that this is propaganda. It’s embarrassing. How can they say this?
‘People sent me pictures, the real facts. The bodies of our dead civilians were lying on the ground for two weeks. They have to take responsibility for this.’
Zinchenko uploaded an Instagram picture of Putin shortly after the invasion started, writing: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature.’
He admitted it has been very difficult to concentrate on football matters.