Oleksandr Zinchenko has expressed gratitude to the international community for standing behind Ukraine and stated that he would have joined the army to fight Russia but was prevented from doing so by his family.
The Manchester City defender returned to the starting lineup for the club’s midweek FA Cup victory against Peterborough United – having missed the club’s last league game – and carried the Ukraine flag before the match.
Around a million Ukrainians have left the nation since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded it a little more than a week ago, but many others have remained to oppose the invading armies.
Ukraine has received virtually universal international backing, with several nations providing weaponry and resources to eastern Europe, while sanctions have been imposed on various Russian organizations and people.
‘I’m so grateful to all these people for the support I’m getting here, the left-back told BBC Sport.
‘I didn’t realize it’s going to be like that in this way. So I would like to say all of them big thanks. I appreciate it.
‘I’m getting a lot of messages from a lot of guys in Ukraine and they are asking me about the videos of support [from the UK].
‘So people are watching TV, the people are still watching football, and they can see all these things, and I guess it helps a lot for them.
‘It’s like, the people who are supporting Ukraine, they are trying to push them – don’t give up. And I know my people they won’t.’
Zinchenko has made more than 100 appearances for the Cityzens since joining the club in 2016.