In an interview with Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail, Shevchenko recalled the moment his mother informed him about the start of the war.
Shevchenko has praised Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky
Andriy Shevchenko is one of the most successful ever athletes to emerge from Ukraine, but the challenges he faces now are far more significant than any football match he has competed in. Amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Shevchenko is determined to help his country’s people flee the battle zones and find safe refuge. In an interview with Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail, Shevchenko recalled the moment his mother informed him about the start of the war. “I was sleeping,” he said. “I got a call. It was my mum. She said: ‘The war has started’. We couldn’t believe that Russia would take that step and start the war and we were in shock.” Shevchenko then praised Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky. “The position of president Volodymyr Zelensky was critical,” Shevchenko said.
Ukraine won’t give up
“He could have left, but he sent a clear message to say he would stay and that we had to defend our country. That united the Ukrainian people. He stayed with them, and we won’t give up. We fight for our choice, for our freedom, for our democracy. When you see the people in the street, going with no arms to stop the tank, that is so powerful. We’re going to defend to the end. Russia is not welcome. Shevchenko then highlighted the danger that children found themselves in and stated his desire to help. “I’m a father of four. You are a father of three, Jamie,” he said. “We cannot stand for that. Innocent children are dying for no reason. This is what I work for, to stop this war. This war does not make reasons.”
“I want only one thing: to bring the peace in my country, to stop the killing of innocent people, to stop the killing of kids. We all know war is cruel. But we cannot stand for that.” Despite Russian athletes having nothing to do with the conflict, Shevchenko backed the controversial decision to ban players and teams from various sporting competitions. “I absolutely agree with taking the Russian athletes out of competitions since the war has not stopped,” Shevchenko says. ‘We have to put the pressure on. The Russian president Vladimir Putin – I don’t want to say that thing’s name – said that this is a “special operation”. It’s not a special operation. It’s the killing of the innocent. It’s people surrounded. It’s cities bombed.”