After his escape, the Ukrainian refugee will train at ManCity until the end of the season

Manchester City have opened their doors to a Ukrainian footballer who fled a Russian club and will train with Pep Guardiola’s side until the end of the season

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Manchester City have welcomed Ukrainian refugee Andrii Kravchuk to training Pep Guardiola Premier League team until the end of the season.

Kravchuk, a friend and former teammate of City’s Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko he fled to Manchester from their youth team after terminating his contract with Russian club Torpedo Moscow.

After City learned of Kravchuk’s plight through Zinchenko, City offered the 23-year-old an opportunity to maintain his fitness and development through training at City Football Academy. After his first training session with City’s U23 players, Kravchuk said: “I’m so thankful for that Manchester City for giving me this chance to train with them.

“The past few weeks and months have been so difficult, but to be back on the pitch means so much to me.” Zinchenko met Kravchuk at Shakhtar Donetsk’s academy when they were 13 and 11 respectively and coming from professional football careers dreamed.

After reuniting with Kravchuk, Zinchenko said, “Although I wish the circumstances were very different, it was good to be back with Andrii. I know how much football means to him and how he can help us in these difficult times. I want to thank my club for giving him the opportunity to train with us.”

City Academy Principal Jason Wilcox said: “Although it is only a small gesture, we are delighted to be able to support Andrii. By training with our U23 players, he can maintain his fitness and pursue his profession at City Football Academy while also developing as a player.”

Oleksandr Zinchenko held a Ukrainian flag to show peace and sympathy ahead of Manchester City’s fifth-round clash with Peterborough United in early March


(Getty Images)

Kravchuck was in preseason training in Turkey when his mother informed him Russia had begun bombing his native Ukraine. His family stays in Kyiv while his brother fights in the country’s armed forces. After approval by the Home Office, FA and First LeagueKravcuk will train with City’s Elite Development Squad for the remainder of the season.

Guardiola has strongly expressed his opinion on the war in Ukraine. The City boss said last month: “The thing is, countries are being destroyed because one person decided innocent people need to be destroyed. The world has stopped, people are silent, not ordinary people because everyone is against it. But the governments of the world who have to make a decision or say that this shouldn’t happen.”

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