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Zinchenko thankful for support but wants Russia conflict to end

Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko thanked well-wishers but revealed his trauma as he called for the war to stop amid ongoing conflict with Russia.

Russia began invading neighbouring Ukraine after rising political tensions between the two countries over a week ago.

The attacks were greeted by widespread condemnation, with sporting, political and financial sanctions imposed on Russia to deter their efforts.

There will be no Russian participation in the women’s and men’s World Cups in 2022.

In contrast, St Petersburg lost out on the Champions League final.

In the act of solidarity, Zinchenko was named captain for Manchester City’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough on Tuesday, and the left-back has thanked the world for showing support.

“I’m so grateful,” he told BBC Sport:

“I’m so grateful to all these people for the support I’m getting here. I didn’t realise it would 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.”

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Zinchenko’s torment continues around the clock, as he pointed to starvation in his homeland and the prospect of many having to live in bunkers, hoping to survive.

“I’m just crying,” he said. “So already a week, I’m not counting, but even I can drive the car from the training ground, or it doesn’t matter where I can cry from nothing.

“It’s everything in my head. Imagine the place where you was born, where you was growing up. But, then, there is nothing but the empty ground.”

Zinchenko said he wanted to send a message that nobody should forget the plight of Ukrainians.

“We need to stop the war,” he added.

The 25-year-old explained his intention to inform the world of what was going on in his homeland.

“I spoke with many people who are on our side. And they said that the way Russian TV is showing us is ridiculous,” he said. “My mission is to show the rest of the world what’s going on in this moment.

“There are few cities in the lowest part of Ukraine where the civilians, Russian people, are coming, and they do fake protests that like ‘we want to be with Russia’ and stuff like that.

“So I can show you one million pictures. I can show you one million videos, what they are doing now.

“I can show you every city in my country, which they destroyed.”

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