For now, Olena Kryvytska is secure. Not like lots of her compatriots, the Ukrainian fencer has not fled the nation. She has remained to assist her household, and she or he intends to remain in her homeland for so long as attainable. Chatting with DW by video hyperlink, the 35-year-old has known as on Russian athletes to boost their voices and draw consideration to the struggle.
DW: Olena, how are you and the way is your loved ones?
Olena Kryvytska: The state of affairs is not straightforward. It isn’t simply laborious for me and my household, however for everybody in Ukraine. However we’re attempting to stay calm. That is the most effective factor we will do. If we descend into panic, we cannot be capable to make choices. We’ve got to attempt to hold a cool head.
What has the final week been like for you, since Russia invaded Ukraine?
February 23 was my birthday. The next morning, I used to be woken at 6 a.m. by my husband. In quarter-hour, we packed all our necessities collectively and bought within the automotive with our two canine to drive to a safer place. The noise of the explosions was very loud. It was a really precarious state of affairs. We have left our home, our dwelling, behind and we’ll most likely by no means see it once more.
Over 1 million individuals have already fled the nation. Are you going to go away Ukraine, too?
I’ve mates overseas messaging me every single day and providing assist. So we may go away the nation. However I wish to keep right here. My household are right here, my mother and father are right here. I will keep right here so long as attainable.
Talking with DW through video hyperlink, Kryvytska stated she is attempting to stay calm
‘Our troopers are heroes’
What do you concentrate on the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion?
Our troopers are heroes. They’re preventing so bravely. They’re merely heroes. Identical to all the opposite people who find themselves attempting to assist one another survive within the occupied areas. In a single day, we have all develop into one, and that is so vital. We’re preventing for one another as one large household.
The Russian troops are doing horrible issues. They’re reducing individuals in cities off from meals and water. Many individuals are struggling and do not know what they need to eat or drink. It isn’t military in opposition to military, it is a military in opposition to civilians.
Many athletes are attempting to attract consideration to the state of affairs in Ukraine…
Sure, many are utilizing their media contacts or social media to inform the world the reality about our state of affairs. Possibly some Russians will even see these messages and perceive what this struggle is like. Our total nation is destroyed. I am unable to think about what number of years it would take to rebuild all the things.
What extra do individuals want to grasp that it is struggle? Youngsters are dying right here, 6-year-olds and 10-year-olds are being murdered. Are they the enemy? Once I see movies like that, I simply should cry. I do not perceive how human beings can do such issues.
‘Russian athletes want to choose a aspect’
Do you might have a message to your fellow athletes from Russia?
They should choose a aspect. Too many are protecting quiet and saying nothing. That is not acceptable as a result of they’re concerned; they belong to Russia. If they’ve a whole lot of followers on Instagram, they’ve to talk out and say that they’re on the aspect of peace and that their president is doing horrible issues.
I perceive that they is perhaps scared for their very own lives however, in the event that they do nothing, then they’re responsible by affiliation.
What do you anticipate within the coming days?
That is a tough query. I hope to get up every day. And I hope to get up with out struggle. Nevertheless it’s difficult. We’re preventing for our lives, for an opportunity to have a superb life in our nation, like we did earlier than the struggle. Generally I get up within the evening as a result of I hear the sirens. And all the things may change within the blink of an eye fixed.
So I am unable to reply the query. I simply hope all of it ends quickly. And I hope I can keep in our county. I do not wish to go wherever else. I wish to stay in Ukraine with my household.
Olena Kryvytska is a Ukrainian fencer and three-time world championship bronze medalist: Moscow in 2015 (workforce), Leipzig in 2017 and Budapest in 2019 (particular person). She lives in Ukraine along with her husband, and turned 35 the day earlier than the Russian invasion.
The interview was conducted by Thomas Klein and translated from German by Matt Ford