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Zinchenko bursts into tears in heartbreaking Ukraine interview with Gary Lineker

Oleksandr Zinchenko bursts into tears in a heartbreaking interview with Gary Lineker about the sad scenes he’s seeing in Ukraine.

The Man City player spoke with the Match of the Day pundit over the war, and has urged Russia to stop their invasion.

Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade has left Ukraine and the world utterly devastated over the last week. And a number of Ukrainian Premier League stars have been left visibly distraught before recent games, with tributes paid from clubs and fans.

Despite the horrific situation, Zinchenko has shown bravery to continue playing, and he even captained Pep Guardiola’s side during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Peterborough in the FA Cup.

He’s spoken out on the scenes in his homeland and admitted that he’s struggling to come to terms with the situation.

“I’m just crying,” the 25-year-old told BBC Sport. “I promise you, I’m just crying.

“At midnight UK time, my wife woke me up and she was crying,” the Ukraine international says of how he discovered the invasion had started.

“I was in shock. She showed me the videos, the pictures, what’s going on now in Ukraine.

“Maybe the most closest feeling is when someone from your circle is dying. You know, this feeling like you feel so bad inside. But this is even much more worse.”

“It’s already a week, like I’m not counting, but even, I can drive the car from the training ground, or it doesn’t matter where, I can just cry from nothing, because it’s everything in my head.

“Imagine the place where you was born, where you was growing up, and there is just empty ground.”

Zinchenko shared his admiration for his compatriots who were defending their country, risking their own lives.

A number of high-profile sports stars, including as the Klitschko brothers and Oleksandr Usyk, have taken up arms to fight in the war.

And he admitted that, if it wasn’t for his family, he too would be back in Ukraine fighting, something he had been criticised for.

“I’ll be honest, if not for my daughter, my family, I would be there,” he added.

“I’m so proud. I’m so proud to be Ukrainian. And I will be forever, for the rest of my life. And when you’re watching the people, how they fight for their lives…There are no words.

“I know the people, the mentality of my people from my country. They prefer to die, and they will die. But they’re not going to give [up].”

Putin has maintained a stance, claiming that the invasion of Russia is a security operation rather than a war or an invasion.

But that claim was angrily refuted by Zinchenko – who slammed the violence against his home nation as “unacceptable”.

“I can show you one million pictures. I can show you one million videos. I can show you every city in my country which they have destroyed. And this is a security operation? It’s impossible.

“This is real war. And the way, what they are doing with my people, it is unacceptable. We need to stop this.”

“I’m so grateful,” he said on the world sending their respects. “I’m so grateful to all these people for the support I’m getting here. I didn’t realise 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.”

You can watch the full interview HERE.

Zinchenko feels his “mission is to show that the rest of the world the real truth, what’s going on now in Ukraine”, especially amid Russian propaganda.

“I spoke with many people who are on our side. And they said that the way Russian TV is showing us is ridiculous.

“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.

“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.

“The people are starving there. The people are just surviving, sleeping on the ground, in bunkers, they cannot live a proper life.”

Zinchenko added that was the reason he wanted to do the interview.

“I was thinking a few days about this interview. Should I do it? Should I not?” he said. “But I just want to send the message to all the people that please don’t ignore this. We need to stop the war.”

Zinchenko has said he is really disappointed that no Russia internationals have spoken out against the invasion.

Russia captain Artem Dzyuba spoke out against his country’s suspension from international tournaments by Fifa and Uefa and said “I am proud to be Russian”.

Zinchenko said in response: “I was surprised that no-one, not one of them, from all of them [has said anything].

“Most of them play in the national team and they have a lot of followers on Instagram, Facebook, wherever.

“And they can, they can at least they can do something to stop this war. Because the people can hear them.

“I already know that they scared. But they’re scared of what? They’re not gonna do anything with them.

“At least they can say their positions, but they don’t they just ignore it. I don’t know why.”

SEE MORE: Zinchenko, Yarmolenko and Mykolenko fumes as Dzyuba takes swipe at Ukrainian players

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