With the Russian invasion of Ukraine continuing to terrorize the people of the nation, the footballing community, led by Ukrainian footballers, continues an outpouring of support for those affected by the violence.
Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko has been one of the strongest voices against Russia. The Ukrainian took to Instagram over the last week launching attacks on Putin and also called out Russian footballers, especially captain Artem Dzyuba for not publicly speaking against terrorism.
In an expletives-filled message, Mykolenko wrote to Dzuba, “Whilst you remain silent b*tch along with your sh*thead football teammates, peaceful civilians are being killed in. You will be locked in your dungeon for the rest of your life and most importantly the lives of your kids. And I’m glad.”
The Russian captain did indirectly respond to Mykolenko as he brushed aside the Ukrainian’s demands as silly in a response to a fan on Instagram.
When someone commented on the Russian captain’s new Instagram story: “Respond to that boy from Everton, he talks too much in England”. Dzyuba responded with: “All they can do is talk”.
But this has not stopped Mykolenko from continuing his fight against Russian oppression as he teamed up with other fellow teammates from the Ukrainian national team in a video on his Instagram page which included a montage of real footage of bombings from the Russian occupation combined with the Ukrainian players pleading to stop the war on their country.
The video features Ukrainian footballers who have already spoken out against Putin such as Man City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko who are also asking for support from football federations such as the Premier League, MLS and national teams of Portugal and Georgia.
The clip also summarizes the amount of support already given by the footballing world such as Everton and City players walking out with the Ukrainian flag in support.
“We are Ukrainians. We are one. We are defending our land. We ask for your support,” is the message with which the short clip concludes.
With a solution to the situation in Ukraine still looking uncertain, the people of Ukraine, be it footballers or not, need all the support that they can get to get past this dark time.