Former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, 37, is called up to fight in the Russian ARMED FORCES – just one week after Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilisation amid escalation of Ukraine conflict

  • Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been drafted into the Russian armed forces
  • The 37-year-old spent three years playing for Everton in the Premier League
  • Bilyaletdinov’s father confirmed his son had previously served in the military
  • The news comes after Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation 

Former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been called up to fight in Ukraine according to reports from Russian media.

Bilyaletdinov spent three years at Goodison Park after then-Toffees boss David Moyes brought him to the club for £9million in 2009.

After returning to his native Russia in 2012, the 37-year-old retired from football in 2019 following a short spell at Lithuanian club FK Riteriai.

The news comes following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation order amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine.

As a result of the ruling, military-aged males who have previously served in the armed forces and have certain military specialties are liable to be drafted.

The decree, which came into effect last week, will see 300,000 Russians drafted to serve in the ongoing conflict.

News of the mobilisation in Russia has spread panic across a civilian population that has been largely shielded from the horrors of the ongoing conflict.

Former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been drafted for the Russian armed forces

Troops have been deployed on the Georgian border to prevent people fleeing the country on land, whilst Russian airliners have been ordered to deny passage to any men between the ages of 18 and 60 in an attempt to halt the exodus.

The US embassy in Moscow has advised that any Americans remaining in the country leave immediately to avoid the possibility of being conscripted into the armed forces.

Speaking to Russian publication Sport24, Diniyar’s father, Rinat Bilyaletdinov, revealed that his son had been drafted.

Bilyaletdinov(right) spent three years playing for Everton in the Premier League

Bilyaletdinov (front row, centre) made 46 appearances for the Russian national team

The elder Bilyaletdinov also confirmed that Diniyar had previously served in the Russian armed forces, but insisted that he had only done so in a sporting role.

‘Yes, Diniyar received a summons.  

‘He served in the sports line more than 19 years ago when he played in the youth team. It was a long time ago, the order came, took the oath. 

‘He spent his entire service in sports. Title – private. I don’t know the military specialty – either construction battalion, or railway troops.’

Bilyaletdinov made 46 appearances for the Russian national team between 2005 and 2012, and was part of the side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

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