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Dynamo Moscow striker Fedor Smolov has become the first high profile Russian footballer to speak out against the war on Ukraine.
On Thursday morning the world woke up to the news that Russian president Vladimir Putin had declared war on neighbours Ukraine.
Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has played for Ukraine 48 times, was the first high profile player to speak out against the invasion.
Now he has been joined by Smolov, who has spent all but two seasons of his career in his home country, has become the first Russian to speak out.
Taking to social media, the 32-year-old simply posted a black square with the caption 'No War,' and included a Ukraine flag and a broken heart to his post.
Russian footballer Fedor Smolov speaks out on Instagram against war in Ukraine pic.twitter.com/URUu0LLRJS— World Football Index (@WorldFootballi) February 24, 2022
Just a reminder; please do not direct your ire online at Russian athletes, football clubs, and the general Russian public.— Russian Football News (@RusFootballNews) February 24, 2022
They do not want this war, and they are not responsible for it.
Fedor Smolov is one high profile example of this, and others will follow soon.
Fedor Smolov really said no to war in his ig post, one brave man I say— Shel (@Shel_Hwds) February 24, 2022
Tennis star Andrey Rublev, who is currently the second seed in the Dubai Tennis Championships, shared Smolov's post on his own Instagram story.
smolov’s “no war” post in andrey’s story😔 pic.twitter.com/LaK9yl7GyG— hika✨ (@hikar1_y) February 24, 2022
32-year-old Smolov has played for Russia on 45 occasions, scoring 16 goals, and has been playing for Dynamo since the beginning of the year, having returned their from city rivals Lokomotiv.
In his post, which has since been deleted, City star Zinchenko said, "I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature," referring to Putin.
Earlier in the week the 25-year-old said, "The whole civilized world is worried about the situation in my country.
"I can't stay back and strive to put my point across. In the photo - my country. The country where I was born and raised.
"A country whose colours I defend in the international sports arena. A country that we try to glorify and develop."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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