"No one could have imagined it." Rakitskiy, who spoke in Russia, had an epiphany about the scale of aggression after February 24
Central defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy gave his first interview since the start of the full-scale invasion on February 24 last year. Answering the question why he played in the Russian Federation until 2022, Jaroslav said that "he is, first and foremost, a footballer".
Rakitskiy admitted that soccer is his work and his life's work. And all he did in Russia was play soccer. At the same time, the 33-year-old native of Peroshtravensk is amazed at what the country where he once worked is doing.
"No one could have imagined such a scale of aggression, that Russians would be killing Ukrainians by the thousands, destroying our cities. If I had known this would happen, I never would have gone to play in Russia. Moreover, I believe that many people didn't take it so hard until February 2022. Look, Russia was hosting the FIFA World Cup, the Champions League final was supposed to take place, many Ukrainians continued to live and work in Russia, the countries traded with each other," Shakhtar press service quotes Yaroslav as saying.
The player, who left Zenit in February, is sure that February 24 put everything in its place.
"In one day everyone realized that we, the civilized world, have nothing in common with the Russian Federation. That is why I am here, in Ukraine, together with my country, with my people. And this is my answer to all questions," Rakitsky concluded.
Yaroslav broke his contract with the St. Petersburg club after 2.02.2022, where he earned 2 million euros per season.
Last July 23, Rakitskiy signed a one-year contract with Turkish "Adana Demirspor", but lasted only 4 months in the team.
On January 16, 2023, he signed a contract with Shakhtar Donetsk, of which he is a pupil, and for which he has already played for 10 years - from 2009 to 2019.
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