Artem Dzyuba, Russia national football team captain says he is proud to be a Russian after Ukraine’s Vitaliy Mykolenko’s criticism

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Artem Dzyuba, Russia national football team captain has responded to Ukrainian footballer Vitaliy Mykolenko who criticized Russian footballers for keeping quiet over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier in the week, futballnews reported that Vitaliy Mykolenko who currently plays for Premier League side Everton took to his Instagram story to call out Russian players for failing to condemn the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In his Instagram post, Mykolenko specifically tagged Artem Dzyuba and wrote: “You and most importantly your children will be locked in your s***hole for your whole life. And I am sincerely happy about it. You will never be forgiven.”

In his reaction, Artem Dzyuba took to his Instagram account and posted a picture of himself wearing Russia’s national team jersey and a captain armband. In the caption, the 33-year-old striker who is currently contracted to Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg described war as “terrifying” but did not directly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Dzyuba stressed that he is not a politician who should comment on a war that he did not cause. He went on to note that he is never ashamed of being a Russia despite the negative criticism the country has been subjected to since its army invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Artem Dzyuba of Russia.
Artem Dzyuba of Russia.

Dzyuba did not stop there, he accused his country’s critics of double standards, adding that non-political professionals from Russia should not suffer in a war they did not cause.

“War is terrifying”, Dzyuba wrote in Russian. “I am shocked by human aggression and hate, which is moving to a larger scale every day.

“I am against discrimination based on your nationality. I am not ashamed to be Russian. I am proud to be Russian. I don’t understand why athletes have to suffer now.

“I am against double standards. Why are some allowed everything, but we are blamed for everything? Why does everyone always say that sport is apolitical, but with the first opportunity, when it concerns Russia, this principle is absolutely forgotten?”

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Recall that FIFA and UEFA have banned Russia’s national team and the country’s clubs from participating in continental and international competitions.

Even Russian businessmen that invest in football clubs outside Russia like Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov are losing their investments due to the ongoing war.

Hence, Artem Dzyuba added to his reply to Mykolenko that Russian personalities are being abused just for being Russians. He however ended his message by saying that all the attacks on Russians would not offend them.

“I repeat, war is terrifying,” added Dzyuba. “In stressful situations, people show their nature, which is negative sometimes. There is a lot of anger, dirt, and grief pouring on all Russian people now, regardless of their position and occupation. To those thousands of people who write insults and threats – get in line!

“It is especially weird to hear all of these from people to whom Russia gave so very much in their lives. It all creates even more negativity.

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“A war will be over, but human relations will remain and you won’t be able to rewind it all. Remember that.

“P.S. To some of my colleagues, who sit on their a***s in their mansions in England and say nasty things: that cannot offend us, we understand it all! Peace and kindness to everyone!”

Artem Dzyuba is currently contracted to Zenit Saint Petersburg. His contract with the Russian club will expire on June 30, 2022. He has scored 11 goals and provided 9 assists in 27 games so far this season.

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