Fedor Smolov became the first Russian international footballer to express his opposition to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia posting on Instagram: “No to war.”
The 32-year-old Dynamo Moscow striker’s post is against a dark backdrop and followed by a Ukrainian flag and a broken heart icon.
The 45-times capped Smolov — who has been called up to the last three national squads — expressed his opposition hours after the launching of the Russian invasion was announced by President Vladimir Putin.
On Wednesday Benfica’s Ukrainian striker Roman Yaremchuk celebrated a Champions League goal by revealing a shirt bearing his country’s coat of arms.
The 26-year-old scored the goal that gave his Portuguese club a 2-2 draw against Ajax and then displayed a black shirt with the Tryzub symbol.
“I wanted to support my country. I thought a lot about it and I’m afraid of the situation,” he told CNN Portugal.
“The club supports me, they spoke to me and wanted to do everything to help me. I thanked them, although for the moment everything is fine.”