Ex-Arsenal star Oleg Luzhny on returning to Ukraine to fight – ‘easy decision’

Oleg Luzhny, who played for Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, has returned to Kyiv to defend his country after the Russian invasion

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Former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny has revealed it was an “easy decision” for him to return Ukraine to defend his country amid Russian aggression.

The 53-year-old, who also played in the First League for Wolverhampton Wanderers, has been away from his family in Kyiv and has opened up the “very difficult” situation. He has joined the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine as the war goes on, with Russian troops are advancing on the city of Mariupol.

According to reports, the Russian troops of Vladimir Putin prepared for a “long war of attrition”.while Hospitals in Ukraine continue to fill up while injuries and fatalities increase. However, Luzhny had no doubts about his decision.

“The situation in Ukraine is very, very difficult now because of… our Russian neighbor,” said Luzhny, whose wife has stayed with him while his children are at their jobs in London and Zurich Sky Sports. “Everyone is surprised by this situation. And the situation is very dangerous.

“The Russians destroyed many houses, business centers and roads. Sometimes the rockets come two or three times during the day and also at midnight. It’s not a good situation, very, very dangerous.

“It was an easy decision [to join the territorial defence forces] because I love this country. I want to fight with my friends to stay and fight [against] the Russian army.”

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Luzhny played for Arsenal more than 100 times


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Luzhny has spent some time as Dynamo Kyiv’s caretaker manager and served as an assistant for the club during Alyaksandr Khatskevich’s time, but has done so put his coaching career on hold to join the fight. “Everyone has to fight. You have to fight for your country. It was an easy decision,” he continued, before explaining his specific role.

“We have five or six people in our group and some police officers. And we have a special area where we walk around for 12 hours every two or three days.

“Of course it’s difficult. It’s difficult, but I’m okay. Our country has suffered much damage. Here in Kyiv it’s okay, not too much. But more in Kharkiv, in Mariupol, it’s much more difficult.

The defender has 60 caps for Ukraine



“All my friends stay to fight,” he continued. “No one is going. I don’t know when I will see my family again. When this war ends after we win and have a good party.

“I don’t know if we’ll have peace any time soon. The situation is not under control. Nobody knows what Putin has in his brain.

“We’re not panicking. We are strong inside. We have a good spirit inside. Our soldiers are fantastic. You are not afraid of the Russians.

“The Russians are afraid of us now. Because they’re going home now. We have good positive feelings.”

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