Manchester City footballer Oleksandr Zinchenko is urging people to carry on speaking out against Russian attacks on Ukraine, in order to save innocent Ukrainian children.
Russia first invaded Ukraine on February, 24, and have destroyed several cities since with the death toll continuing to rise everyday.
The 25-year-old defender took to Instagram to encourage support from his 1.6million followers, to help stop the ongoing war which has led to many civilian and children’s deaths.
‘I’m not only a Ukrainian football player, but also a Ukrainian citizen,’ he told his Instagram followers.
‘Now, my country is defending against Russian aggression, thousands of people are dying.
‘The Russian troops had already destroyed several cities, bombs and shells are raining down on peaceful civilian houses.
‘I was born and raised in the Zhytomyr region. On March 8, Russian aircraft attacked Malyn, the city near Zhytomyr.
‘One of the airstrikes killed a family of five, including a baby. I also have a baby daughter.
Manchester City footballer Oleksandr Zinchenko is urging people to carry on speaking out
The defender wants people to speak out in order to help save innocent Ukrainian children.
Zinchenko has revealed that more than 140 children have died and there will be more yet
‘My heart breaks from the thoughts of how many children of her age are dying and how many are becoming orphans in this war.
‘There are already more than 140 children dead and there will be more if no one stops this invasion.
‘I ask you, please, speak out! Don’t be silent while little kids die everyday. Please, help us with your words and your support.
‘Stop Putin! Save Ukrainian children.’
Ukrainian international Zinchenko admits it breaks his heart seeing how many are dying
Mass graves have been discovered on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, it was claimed yesterday, amid fears that brutal Russian troops are executing civilians as they retreat.
Ukrainians claimed Russian forces ‘booby-trap corpses and execute civilians while retreating from recaptured Kyiv area’.
Territorial defence fighters told The Times they found the mutilated bodies of 18 people, including women and children as young as 14, in a cellar.
Horrific images emerged of bodies strewn across the streets of commuter town Bucha, which was retaken by Ukrainian forces on Friday.
The town’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, last night said: ‘We have already buried 280 people in mass graves.’
The corpses of at least 20 men in civilian clothes were found lying along a single residential street. One had his hands tied behind his back with white cloth. A Ukrainian passport lay on the ground nearby.
‘All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head,’ Mr Fedoruk said.
He added that many of the bodies had white bandages on them ‘to show that they were unarmed’ and that a 14-year-old boy was among the dead.
He claimed some of the victims had tried to cross the Buchanka river to Ukrainian-controlled territory and that entire families had perished, including ‘children, women, grandmothers. These are the consequences of Russian occupation,’ he added.
An aerial picture shows burned Russian armoured vehicles in the outskirts of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on Friday
Ukrainian policemen check the wreckage of Russian tanks and armoured personnel carriers (APC) in Dmytrivka village, west of Kyiv, on April 2
Kira Rudik, an MP, posted a video of the horrifying scene on Twitter and wrote: ‘Russians were killing people with their hands tied behind their backs and left the bodies near the road. I am shaking.’
Bucha, a suburban town of 28,000 people, has been left devastated by the fighting.
Shell explosions have blown gaping holes in apartment blocks and crushed cars litter the streets, according to the first journalists to reach the town.
Sixteen of the 20 corpses found on one street were lying either on the pavement or by the verge. Three were sprawled in the middle of the road and another was lying in the courtyard of a house. One appeared to have been killed as he rode his bicycle.
All were wearing civilian clothes, including jackets or tracksuit tops, jeans or jogging bottoms, and trainers or boots.
Mr Zelensky warned that Moscow’s retreating troops are creating ‘a complete disaster’ in suburbs and towns outside Kyiv.
Shattered homes, military equipment and even the bodies of those killed have been rigged with explosives as Russian forces withdraw, he said in his nightly video address to the nation.
‘They are mining the whole territory. They are mining homes, mining equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed. There are a lot of tripwires, a lot of other dangers,’ he said.
Local troops have been removing bodies from the roads with long cables for fear they might have been rigged to explode.
City, however, are showing their support and have given a Ukrainian refugee use of their training facilities after his contract was cancelled at a Russian club.
Andriy Kravchuk – a former team mate of Oleksandr Zinchenko in Shakhtar Donetsk’s academy – terminated his deal at Torpedo Moscow after Russia’s invasion of his homeland.
The 23-year-old started training with City’s Elite Development Squad on Thursday and will remain with the Premier League champions until the end of the season.
Zinchenko played a part in facilitating the Ukraine Under-21 international’s arrival after he fled for Manchester.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (right) has helped get his former team-mate Andriy Kravchuk to Man City
‘Leaving the club was the only decision,’ Kravchuk said. ‘I felt really uncomfortable. People in Ukraine would not understand me if I continued to play there. I cannot believe it’s happened. In the 21st century, in the middle of Europe. I still can’t find the words.’
Kravchuk became aware of the mass attacks while away on pre-season with Torpedo Moscow in Turkey, awoken at 5am by his mother on February 24 after the first missiles were launched at his homeland.
‘Her first words to me were: “Russia is bombing us.” It’s shock. I was destroyed inside. I am in groups on my phone and always receiving messages with bombing alerts. Every time those alerts come through I am so anxious. Your only thought is that my family can die.’