Oleksandr Zinchenko expressed gratitude to the world for standing by Ukraine during an emotional interview regarding Russia’s invasion of his motherland.
After missing the previous two league games, the 25-year-old Manchester City left-back was selected captain for the midweek FA Cup triumph over Peterborough and carried out the Ukraine flag before the game.
About a million Ukrainians have fled to safety since Russia invaded Ukraine a little over a week ago, while many others have stayed to fight.
The international world has largely backed Ukraine, supplying weapons and putting penalties on Russian corporations and individuals in many situations.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has relatives and friends in Ukraine, spoke to Gary Lineker about “his duty” to inform the rest of the world about the situation there.
When he found out the news, he cried in the car
“My wife woke me up at midnight UK time, crying,” the Ukraine international recounts of how he learned the invasion had begun.
“I was taken aback. She showed me films, images, and current events in Ukraine.
“Perhaps the most intimate feeling is when someone in your group passes away. You know, that feeling that you’re in such poor shape on the inside. But it gets a whole lot worse.”
“I’m in tears right now. So it’s been a week, and I’m not counting, but I can drive the car from the training ground, or anywhere else, and cry for no reason,” he stated.
“It’s all happening in my thoughts. Consider the location where you were born and grew up. And there’s nothing except bare dirt.”
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On his admiration for Ukrainians who refuse to give up
Many Ukrainians have stayed to fight Russia, including Zinchenko’s friends, with those who reside overseas returning home for the conflict.
“I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for my kid and family,” he stated.
“That’s just how I was born. I am familiar with the attitude of the people in my nation, and they all think the same way.
“I am incredibly pleased to be Ukrainian, and I will be for the rest of my life. And you can see how people battle for their lives when you see them.
“I know the people of my country, and I know that they choose to die, and that they will die. They’re not going to give up, though.”
On the world’s support for Ukraine
Oleksandr Zinchenko claimed he had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he had received from football fans, passers-by, and seeing donations from the British public.
He expressed his gratitude by saying, “I’m really grateful.” “I’m really appreciative for the help I’m getting here from all of these folks. I had no idea it was going to turn out this way. As a result, I’d like to express my gratitude to each and every one of them. I really appreciate it.”
“I’m getting a lot of mails from guys in Ukraine who want to know about the support videos [from the UK].
“People are still watching football on TV, and they can see all of these things, which I’m sure is beneficial to them.
“It’s almost as though those who support Ukraine are trying to persuade them not to give up. And I know my people aren’t going to do it.”
He’s on a mission to inform the rest of the globe about what’s going on.
Zinchenko believes his “job is to show the rest of the world the genuine truth about what’s going on in Ukraine right now,”, particularly in the face of Russian misinformation.
“I spoke with a lot of folks who support us. They also stated that the way Russian television portrays us is absurd.
“My objective is to inform the rest of the world about what is going on right now.
“There are a few cities in Ukraine’s south where civilians, primarily Russians, arrive and stage phony protests such as “we want to be with Russia” and similar statements.
“I have a million images to show you. I have a million videos of what they are doing right now that I can show you. I can show you every city they devastated in my country.
“There is famine in the area. People are barely scraping by, sleeping on the ground or in bunkers, unable to live a normal life.”
That was Zinchenko’s motivation for doing the interview, he claimed.
“This interview has been on my mind for a few days. Should I go ahead and do it? Should I or should I not? “he stated “But I just want to make it clear to everyone that this is not something to be taken lightly. We must put an end to the conflict.”
Regarding his dissatisfaction with Russian footballers
Oleksandr Zinchenko has expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that no Russian diplomats have spoken out against the invasion.
“I am glad to be Russian,” Russia captain Artem Dzyuba said in response to his country’s suspension from international events by Fifa and Uefa.
According to Zinchenko: “I was astonished that none of them, not a single one of them, has said anything.
“The majority of them are members of the national team and have a large following on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
“And they can, at the at least, do something to bring this war to an end. Because they are audible to the general public.
“I was already aware that they were frightened. But what are they afraid of? They aren’t going to do anything about them.
“At the very least, they have the ability to state their positions; but, they do not do so and instead choose to ignore it. I’m not sure why.”