Andriy Yarmolenko has publicly called on Russian footballers to ‘show their balls’ and stand-up to Vladimir Putin

ANDRIY YARMOLENKO has publicly called on Russian footballers to ‘show their balls’ and stand-up to Vladiir Putin.

The Ukraine ace has only just returned to training with West Ham after being granted time off by the club following Russia’s invasion of his homeland.

Boss David Moyes revealed Yarmolenko is barely sleeping as he worries about his family in Ukraine.

The forward, 32, spends ‘nearly 24 hours a day’ on the phone to his relatives.

Now the ex-Dynamo Kyiv and Borussia Dortmund ace has taken to Instagram to post a video to publicly address Russian footballers.

Yarmolenko said: “I was born in St. Petersburg, but I grew up in Ukraine and I consider myself 100 percent Ukrainian.

“I have questions for the players of the Russian national football team: ‘Guys, why are you sitting like robbed and not saying anything?’

“In our country people are being killed, our wives are being killed, mothers, children, and you don’t say anything, don’t comment on anything?

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“I know many of you, with many acquaintances, and you all told me that this should not be what your president is doing wrong.

“Guys, you are influencing people, show it, I beg you, please. I know some of you love to show your balls on camera, but now it's time to show your balls in real life.”

There is a slim chance Yarmolenko will travel to face Southampton in their FA Cup fifth-round clash tonight.

A number of Ukrainian sporting stars are back in their homeland fighting back against the Russian invasion.

Boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko and WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title holder Oleksandr Usyk have both signed up to defend their home nation against Putin’s attack.

Vitali Klitschko and Vasyl Lomachenko have also bravely joined the fight.

Ex-champ Wladimir enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army prior to the attack, and then once Russia launched their invasion, his brother and fellow former title holder Vitali (now Mayor of Kyiv) announced he was joining.

Lomachenko then joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense over the weekend before Usyk did the same in Kyiv.

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