June 27, 2022

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to strong reactions and signs around the world, including in sports.

Before the confrontation between Everton and Manchester City, the two teams came out with Ukrainian flags in support of the war-torn country. Fans in the stands waved yellow and blue flags.

Solidarity: Everton players lined up with Ukrainian flags in solidarity with the war-torn country. Photo: Olly Scarf/AFP/NTB
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For the players it was very special, i.e. Vitaly Mikolenko and Alexander Zinchenko.

The two play for Everton and Manchester City respectively, but they have one thing in common.

Both are from Ukraine.

The two national teammates exchanged a good hug during the warm-up period of the match, and it was clear that the moment went into both of them.

Zinchenko and Mykolenko shed tears as their teammates stood with the Ukrainian flag on their chests before the match. The flags also came with a clear message:

“No war”

The images are now circulating around the world.

Team friends: compatriot Vitaly Mikolenko (dark blue) and Alexander Zinchenko (light blue) embrace each other before the match between Everton and Manchester City.  Photo: Jon Super/AP/NTB

Team friends: compatriot Vitaly Mikolenko (dark blue) and Alexander Zinchenko (light blue) embrace each other before the match between Everton and Manchester City. Photo: Jon Super/AP/NTB
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When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday night that Russia had launched a military attack on Ukraine, Zinchenko was among those who came out forcefully against the president.

I hope you die the worst. Disgusting, wrote the Manchester City player.

Zinchenko’s Instagram story soon disappeared. The 25-year-old Claims Instagram delete the post.

Andrij Yarmolenko (32) has played more than a hundred caps for Ukraine. The West Ham player also spoke on Instagram.

– I urge all Ukrainians to unite, show loyalty to the homeland and support our army. Our strength is freedom, the right to choose, respect and human values. We are a strong nation, the 32-year-old writes.

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