'I Am Proud To Be Russian': Russia Captain Artem Dzyuba Issues Defiant Response After Being Criticised For His Silence Over Ukraine
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Russia captain Artem Dzyuba has issued a defiant response after being criticised for his silence over the invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Everton defender Vitaliy Mykolenko singled Dzyuba out for criticism, labelling him a “silent b****”, while West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko has also slammed the Russian national team for failing to speak out.
In a video released on Instagram, Yarmolenko criticised the Russian team and also alluded to Dzyuba’s infamous sex tape, which was leaked in 2020.
"I know some of you like to show your balls on camera but now the time’s come to show your balls in real life,” said Yarmolenko.
Dzyuba, who captained Russia at Euro 2020, has now released his own statement on Instagram.
The Zenit St Petersburg striker says he against all war but remains a proud Russian despite the actions of his country's armed forces in neighbouring Ukraine.
“Until recently, I did not want to speak on the topic of events in Ukraine,” said Dzyuba.
“I didn’t want to, not because I’m afraid, but because I’m not an expert in politics, I never got into it and didn’t intend to (unlike a large number of political scientists and virologists who have recently appeared on the internet).
“But like everyone else, I have my own opinion. Since I am being drawn to this topic from all sides, I will express it.
“I am against any war. War is scary. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which is gaining some sort of devastating scale every day.
“I am against discrimination based on nationality. I'm not ashamed that I'm Russian. I am proud to be Russian. And I don’t understand why athletes should suffer now.
“I am against double standards. Why one can do everything, but all the dogs are hanged on us. Why is everyone always shouting about sports outside of politics, but at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten?
“Again, war is scary. In stressful situations, people show their essence, sometimes negative. How much anger, dirt and bile has now poured out on all Russian people, regardless of their position and profession. Those thousands of people who write insults and threats - get in line!
“It is doubly strange to hear all this from people to whom Russia has given very, very much in their lives. All this only creates more negativity. The war will end, but human relations will remain. And it will be impossible to rewind. Remember this.
“P.S. And to some colleagues who sit on their a** in mansions in England and say nasty things: this cannot offend us, we understand everything! Peace and goodness to all! #I'mAPatriotOfMyCountry #SportOutPolitics.”
Russia launched a full-scale military attack on Ukraine on Thursday, with intense fighting now raging for a seventh day in cities across the country.
At least 102 civilians have been killed since the start of the invasion but the real figure is feared to be "considerably higher”, according to the UN's human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.