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Oleksandr Zinchenko Invites 10-Year-Old Ukrainian Refugee To Manchester City Training

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Oleksandr Zinchenko Invites 10-Year-Old Ukrainian Refugee To Manchester City Training

Oleksandr Zinchenko has invited a 10-year-old Ukrainian boy to train with him at Manchester City after the youngster was forced to flee his homeland following the Russian invasion.

Ukraine international Zinchenko, 25, posted a series of pictures to his Instagram on Monday of him training alongside aspiring footballer Andriy.

The youngster is one of more than 19,500 Ukrainian refugees to have arrived in the UK since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

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Writing on Instagram, Zinchenko said: "This is Andriy. He is 10 years old. Today he is already safe.

"Like most Ukrainians, he and his family were forced to flee their homes because of the war. Another 75 days ago, this boy dreamed of becoming a footballer and trained carefree with his team.

"Today he dreams of only one thing - peace in our country. About peace. About normal life at home."

He added: "It hurts me a lot that because of the war in Russia, there are a lot of children like Andriy in Ukraine today. Deprived of childhood, and even worse - life.

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"I believe that the day of our Ukrainian victory will come soon.

"And all children will be able to relive their carefree childhood, full of children's dreams and positive emotions, which today for a few minutes could feel Andriy at the training session."

Zinchenko has repeatedly called for an end to the invasion and has been a prominent critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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Back in February, Zinchenko posted a picture of Putin to his Instagram story, alongside the caption: "I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature."

"I have friends over there, a small circle, but now it has reduced almost to nothing," Zinchenko told The Guardian.

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"I'm so disappointed. The guys I know called me as soon as the invasion happened, texted 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.

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"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.

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"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?

"Of course they would not. And it’s such a shame that they say nothing."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram: Oleksandr Zinchenko

Topics: Ukraine, Football, Manchester City, Premier League

Rory O'Callaghan
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