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02nd Mar 2022

Artem Dzyuba breaks silence on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Callum Boyle

Dzyuba and several other Russian footballers have been called out by Ukrainian footballers

Russia’s national team captain Artem Dzyuba has broken his silence on the ongoing war in Ukraine, which saw Russian troops cross the border last Thursday.

It follows after Dzyuba and several of his international teammates have been criticised for not speaking out on the subject by Ukrainian international footballers such as Andriy Yarmolenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko.

Previously, Dynamo Moscow forward Fedor Smolov had been the only high-profile Russian to speak out against the war, but Dzyuba has now released a statement on his Instagram, in which he claimed he wanted to wait until the end of the war to speak.

He said: “I was reluctant to comment on the events in Ukraine until recently. I didn’t want to, not because I was afraid, but because I am not an expert in politics, never got into it and never intend to (unlike a lot of political scientists and virologists who have recently appeared on the Internet). But I, like everyone else, have my own opinion.

“Since I am drawn to this topic from all sides, I will state it. I am against all war. War is scary. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which every day acquires some prohibitive scale.

“I am against discrimination based on nationality. I am not ashamed of being Russian. I am proud that I am Russian. And I don’t understand why sportsmen should suffer now.”

Dzyuba reiterated his point as he explained how he couldn’t understand why sportsmen and women in Russia were being targeted for not speaking out.

He added: “I’m against double standards. Why some people can do everything, but they hang all dogs on us. Why has everyone always been screaming about sports being out 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 been poured on all Russian people, regardless of their position or 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 that.

“P.S. And to some of my colleagues, who sit on their asses in mansions in England and say mean things: we cannot be offended by this, we all understand! Peace and goodness to all!”

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