Former Arsenal star joins Ukraine army to fight against Russia

Former Arsenal defender Oleg Luzhny has returned to Ukraine to fight for his country against Russia.

And he insisted Ukraine will not give up in their fight to protect themselves.

The 53-year-old’s nation was invaded by Vladimir Putin’s army last month with war breaking out.

Boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko have all enlisted to help the heroic defensive effort by Ukraine.

Footballer Svyatik Artemenko, Sheriff Tiraspol’s Ukrainian manager Yuriy Vernydub, Olympians Dmytro Pidruchny and Dmytro Mazurchuk as well as tennis ace Sergiy Stakhovsky are also in their homeland and joined the army.

And as the violence and destruction continues, Luzhny put his coaching career on pause to play his part.

He told the Mirror: “Like all devoted Ukrainians, now I’m in Ukraine, with all our people defending our motherland. I joined the Territorial Defence Force.

“The situation is very tense, the siren sounds three or four times a day, also at night.

“People have to frantically dash to bomb shelters, women with small children, who don’t understand what is happening, they are terrified.

“Entire cities and towns are shelled and being destroyed, people are left without gas, electricity, water and food.

“But our nation stands united like never before.

“We will not give up, everyone is trying to assist in the best possible way.”

Luzhny spent four years at Highbury between 1999 and 2003, making 110 appearances and winning the Premier League and FA Cup before joining Wolves for one season.

He signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2003, spending a single season at the Molineux.

He has had messages of support from ‘very, very worried’ former Gunners team-mates Patrick Vieira and Gilles Grimandi – while others have not been able to contact him after he got a new phone number.