Russia captain Artem Dzyuba REJECTS national team call-up just weeks after blasting Premier League's Ukraine stars

RUSSIAN captain Artem Dzyuba has REJECTEDa call-up to the national team just weeks after blasting Premier League-based Ukrainian stars.

Russia have no fixtures scheduled for the upcoming international break after they were banished from the World Cup qualifying play-offs amid the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Boss Valeri Karpin instead decided to organise training with plans to play a game against the Russian U21's side.

But Dzyuba turned the call-up down 'due to the difficult situation in Ukraine.'

Dzyuba made the headlines after hitting back at Prem stars such as Andriy Yarmolenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko after they questioned his silence and refusal to condemn Russia's actions.

The 6ft6in striker also happens to have 'many relatives' in Ukraine.

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Manager Karpin said: "Due to the difficult situation in Ukraine, where he has many relatives, he apologised and asked not to call him up for this training camp."

Ukraine and West Ham star Yarmolenko scored on his emotional return to first-team action.

Yarmolenko hadn't played for the Hammers since February 5 in the FA Cup win over Kidderminster.

The winger, who is closing in on Ukraine's all-time top scorer record, netted West Ham's first in the 2-1 home win over Aston Villa.

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Yarmolenko dropped to his knees and began to sob whilst being surrounded by his supportive team-mates.

Summing up the emotional moment into words, he said: "It was so emotional for me.

"You know my situation in my country and it's so difficult for me right now thinking about football because everyday in my country Russians are killing Ukrainian people.

"It was so, so emotional… It's one thing I can say.

"To be honest, I don't know what to say. Just so, so emotional. I just want to say thank you to my team-mates, who support me all the time everyday.

"I want to say [thank you] to West Ham fans, they also support me and support Ukrainian people.

"I also want to say thank you to ALL British people because we feel you support us and really, thank you."

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