Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko says he would fighting against the Russian invasion in his homeland of Ukraine if it wasn't for his family.
It has been an agonising week for the 25-year-old full-back. Last weekend, Zinchenko and his international teammate Vitaliy Mykolenko shared a powerful embrace ahead of their Premier League clash at Goodison Park.
Zinchenko, who wore a t-shirt with the message, 'No War', was visibly emotional as they embraced during the warm-up.
Man City's Zinchenko & Everton's Mykolenko embrace during the warm-up 🇺🇦 🙏 pic.twitter.com/NjgrQOTlOf— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 26, 2022
Since Putin declared war on Thursday, a furious Zinchenko has been very vocal about the situation in Ukraine.
He posted a picture of Russia president Vladimir Putin to his Instagram story with the caption: “I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature" - a post he lated claimed was deleted by the social media platform.
He also attended a peaceful vigil at in Manchester's city centre alongside hundreds of compatriots last week.
Oleksandr Zinchenko in attendance at the vigil in St Peter's Square tonight, protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine outside the town hall in Manchester city centre.— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) February 24, 2022
[Photo via @karlathrelfall] pic.twitter.com/cnpjt1QHqd
Now, in a heartbreaking interview with Gary Lineker, the City defender has spoken about the heartbreak of war.
"Imagine the place where you grew up, and it's just empty ground."— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 4, 2022
In an emotional interview with @GaryLineker, Oleksandr Zinchenko talks about the heartbreak of the war in his homeland.
Watch in full on Football Focus at 12pm GMT, Saturday on @bbciplayer
"I'm just crying. It’s already [been] a week - I'm not counting - but even when I drive the car from the training ground, I can just cry from nothing," Zinchenko said in an emotional interview with BBC Sport.
"It's everything in my head. Imagine the place where you were born, where you were growing up and there is just empty ground.
"I can show you one million pictures and videos of every city in my country which they destroyed.
"A security operation? Impossible. This is a real war. What they are doing is not acceptable. We need to stop this.
"People there are sending me facts… they are starving. People are just surviving, sleeping underground and in bunkers."
Heartbreaking to see Oleksandr Zinchenko in tears before kick-off as both teams show their support for Ukraine 💔 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/bZYNyziMSh— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 26, 2022
He added: "I'll be honest, if not for my daughter, my family, I would be there. I'm just born like that. I know the people from my country, the mentality of them and all of them think exactly the same.
"I'm so proud to be Ukrainian, and I will be forever for the rest of my life. And when you're watching the people, how they fight for their lives… there are no words.
"I know the people, the mentality of my people from my country, they prefer to die, and they will die. But they're not going to give [up]."
Featured Image Credit: BBC
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