Ukraine-Russia crisis

Yarmolenko told former team-mate Tymoschuk to 'f*ck off' in row over Russia invasion of Ukraine

20:34 EAT 19/04/2022
Andriy Yarmolenko West Ham 2021-22
The West Ham forward has expressed frustration at his old colleague's perceived silence over the conflict

Andriy Yarmolenko says he told his former Ukraine team-mate Anatoliy Tymoshchuk to “f*ck off” as their friendship deteriorated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tymoshchuk has been criticised for not speaking out against Russia’s invasion, particularly as he is an assistant coach at Russian Premier League side Zenit St Petersburg.

Yarmolenko, who played alongside Tymoshchuk for Ukraine for seven years, has now revealed details of a phone conversation between the pair, where he expressed his anger at the former midfielder’s stance.

What did Yarmolenko say?

Speaking to Zorya Londonsk about his conversation with Tymoshchuk, Yarmolenko said: “I asked him how do you sleep at night. He replied 'I don’t sleep’.

“Then he called me. I told him you used to be a role model for me, now you’re nothing. Then he told me to ‘f*ck off’ and I told him the same and that’s that.”

The bigger picture

Tymoshchuk is a footballing legend in Ukraine. He is the most capped player in the history of the national team, having appeared in 144 games at international level between 2000 and 2016.

The former midfielder also captained his country for four years before retiring from playing in 2017 and has served as No 2 at Zenit for the past five seasons.

His silence on the ongoing conflict has therefore angered many Ukrainians, particularly as several former and current national team players have already come forward to oppose the war, including Yarmolenko.

The Ukraine FA has even called for the 42-year-old to be stripped of the club medals he won at Shakhtar Donetsk and all-state awards and honorary titles, accusing him of working "for the club of the aggressor".

Further reading