The Zenit Saint Petersburg striker has hit back at the Everton defenders stinging criticism of him and the rest of the Russia national team
Russia captain Artem Dzyuba has responded to Vitaliy Mykolenkos “b*tch” rant against him and his international team-mates, declaring hes against war but adding that critics “who sit on their a** in mansions in England and say nasty things cant offend us”.
FIFA and UEFA have taken the decision to ban Russia from competing at international level amid the countrys invasion of Ukraine.
Everton defender Mykolenko feels that Russian players have been too silent on the conflict, and targeted Dzyuba specifically in a post expressing his anger on social media.
Ukraine international Mykolenko tagged the Zenit Saint Petersburg striker, who is the current captain of the Russian national team, in an expletive-strewn post on Instagram.
“Whilst you remain silent, b*itch, along with your sh*thead football teammates, peaceful civilians are being killed in Ukraine,” he said.
“You will be locked in your dungeon for the rest of your life and most importantly the lives of your kids. And I’m glad.”
Dzyuba has now seemingly hit back at Mykolenko for what he perceives to be a hypocritical outburst, given the luxurious lifestyle that the 22-year-old enjoys away from the pitch at Everton.
“To some colleagues who sit on their a** in mansions in England and say nasty things: It cannot offend us, we understand everything!” he wrote on Instagram.
The 33-year-old, who is the joint highest scorer in Russias history, went on to express his belief that footballers from his country have been unfairly turned into scapegoats due to the conflict in Ukraine.
“Until recently, I did not want to speak on the topic of events in Ukraine. I didnt want to, not because Im afraid, but because Im not an expert in politics,” Dzuyba added.
“But like everyone else, I have my own opinion. Since I am being drawn to this topic from all sides, I will express it.
“I am against any war. War is a frightful thing. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which is gaining some sort of devastating scale every day.
“I am not afraid that I am Russian. Im proud to be Russian. And I dont understand why athletes have to suffer now. I am against double standards.
“Why is it that one can do everything, and they hang all dogs on us. Why has everyone shouted about sports staying outside 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 negative. How much anger, dirt and bile has now been poured on all Russian people, regardless of their position and profession.
“Those thousands of people why write insults and threats, get in line!
“The war will end but human relations will remain and it will be impossible to rewind back. Keep this in mind. Peace and Goodness to everybody!”