Oleksandr Zinchenko Ready to Fight in Ukraine if Needed, Vows to Remember Russia's Actions


Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko has insisted that he would leave the UK to fight in the ongoing war in Ukraine if he was called up.

After nearly a decade of conflict between the two powers in the Donbas region, Russia launched a full-scale invasion against Ukraine in February 2022.

Speaking at the time the full-back revealed he had intended on returning to his homeland to fight in the conflict but had been dissuaded by family members. 

In a recent interview the former Manchester City star was asked whether he would answer to call up to fight, or whether he felt he could have a greater impact by raising awareness in his current position.

Arsenal full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko revealed he would be willing to fight in Ukraine if called up

Arsenal full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko revealed he would be willing to fight in Ukraine if called up

The 27-year-old revealed that several of his childhood friends are currently fighting the conlift, in which more than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have died

‘I think it’s a clear answer. I would go [to fight]’, Zinchenko told BBC Newsnight. 

Zinchenko added that many of his childhood friends are currently involved in the conflict, in which estimates claim more than 40,000 Ukrainians have died.

‘It’s tough to understand that just recently we’ve been in the same school, we were playing in the playground or on the football pitch, and now they have to defend our country,’ he said.

‘And, honestly, [it’s] so hard to accept this, but it is what it is. We cannot give up.’

After graduating from Shakhtar Donetsk’s academy, Zinchenko moved to Russia due to the war in Donbas and began his senior career with then-Russian Premier League side Ufa before making the move to the Etihad in 2016.

‘Since the invasion really few [have] texted me and sent me some messages and I can’t blame them because this is not their fault,’ he said of his former teammates

‘I cannot tell them, ‘Guys, do the protests outside and all these things’, because I know they can be [put] in prison.’

Fellow Ukrainian sportsman Oleksandr Usyk enlisted with the Kyiv Territorial Defence after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Fellow Ukrainian sportsman Oleksandr Usyk enlisted with the Kyiv Territorial Defence after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

‘We will never forget what they have done to us, to our people. And that’s what I will teach my kids as well. And my kids will teach their kids. This is not acceptable.’

Zinchenko wouldn’t be the first Ukrainian sportsperson to get involved in the war effort inside the country.

Heavyweight champion boxer Oleksandr Usyk enlisted with the Kyiv Territorial Defence during the early stages of the conflict whilst mixed martial arts champion Yaroslav Amosov spent time on the front line in the town of Irpin.



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