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Russia captain Dzyuba responds to Ukraine pair Yarmolenko, Mykolenko: War will end but human relations will remain and it will be impossible to go back...

Zenit St Petersburg striker and Russia captain Artem Dzyuba has responded to accusations from Ukraine players Andriy Yarmolenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko.

Yarmolenko, of West Ham, and Mykolenko, from Everton, have both attacked Dzyuba on social media for not speaking publicly about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, Dzyuba has since posted to social media to explain his stand.

His response in full reads:

“Until recently, I did not want to talk about the topic of what happened in Ukraine. I did not want to, not because I am afraid, but because I am not a political expert, I never got into it and I did not intend to (unlike a lot of political scientists and virologists who recently appeared on the Internet).

"But like everyone else, I have my own opinion. Since this topic attracts me from all sides, I will express it. I am against any war. War is a dreadful thing. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which every day takes on a kind of devastating scale.

"I'm not afraid to be Russian. I am proud to be Russian. And I don't understand why athletes have to suffer now. I am against double standards.

"Why do they hang all the dogs? Why has everyone shouted that sport stays out of politics, but at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten? I repeat, war is scary. In stressful situations, people show their true essence, sometimes negatively.

"How much anger, dirt and bile has now been poured out on the entire Russian people, regardless of their position and profession. Those thousands of people who write insults and threats, line up! It is doubly strange to hear all this from people to whom Russia has given much, much in their lives.

"All of this only creates more negativity. The war will end but human relations will remain and it will be impossible to go back. Keep this in mind."

"PS “To some colleagues who sit their butts in mansions in England and say nasty things: You can't offend us, we understand everything! Peace and goodness to all!"

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