The former captain of the Russian national team, Igor Denisov, publicly opposes the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Now he fears for his life because of it.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost four months. A solution to the bloody conflict is still not in sight. That’s why the ex-soccer professional Igor Denisov broke his silence and now publicly commented on the war. And with pithy words! Especially for someone who is an absolute star in Russia and an idol for many footballers.
Because: The 38-year-old wore the jersey of Sbornaja, the Russian national team, 54 times and was also captain of the team from 2012 to 2016. He celebrated his greatest sporting success with the Uefa Cup victory in 2008. He also won the Super Cup 2008 against Manchester United (2:1) and five Russian championships.
Now Denisov said in an interview with sports journalist and blogger Nobel Arustamyan: «These events are a catastrophe. Complete horror. I can no longer remain silent.” Denisov said that at the very beginning of the war he wanted to send a video message to his compatriots. However, friends advised him against it. He tried to get his message across through Russian channels. But nobody wanted to broadcast his video, according to the Russian ex-soccer star, who ended his career in 2019.
Denisov would kneel before Putin
“I don’t know, maybe I’ll be imprisoned or killed for saying those words, but I’ll tell it like it is. My perception has changed drastically. I have not slept. I was just shocked,” the ex-Dynamo or Lok Moscow footballer described the days after February 24 – the start of the Russian attack.
To this day, Denisov cannot understand the reasons for the war. ‘Nobody can explain it to me. Maybe because I’m not well read, because I don’t know history very well. But I don’t like it when people die. I can no longer be silent about it, »said the 38-year-old emotionally. In his video he offered Putin to get on his knees if the Russian president ended the war.
“I can’t help it”
It is now illegal in Russia to spread allegedly false news about the army. This also concerns Denisov. “I’m scared even now, but I can’t help but speak up. I’m not hiding I don’t need it,” concluded Denisov.
his courage? considerable. According to the Guardian, he is practically the only Russian athlete who still lives in Russia and who publicly criticizes Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war so harshly. It is doubtful whether the words of the sports star will be heard in his home country. The regime is too strict and the fear of Putin is too great. But it is also a fact that the voice of the 38-year-old carries weight in Russia.
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