Ukrainian explains why he joined the front line

Former Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky announced he was taking up arms against Russia earlier this month, and now he’s on the frontline in Kyiv.

The former world number 31 retired after the Australian Open in January, but instead of focusing on what to do with him after his sporting career, he joined the Ukrainian army and was stationed in the country’s capital.

Although he was adamant that he wanted to help his home country in its war against Putin, he struggles with being separated from his family who remained in Hungary where they all now reside.

“Having three children with my wife who worries daily, it’s hard to justify being here,” the 36-year-old told The Times.

“You don’t know when a missile could fly into any building, that’s roulette, but she understands why and that I couldn’t do otherwise.

“Talk to your family and you think you should be with them, but if I was with them I would also feel like I should be in Ukraine.”

Millions of Ukrainians have already fled their homes and cities have been destroyed on a massive scale, and athletes like Stakhovsky and boxing champions Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko have joined the war effort.

But the four-time title winner has had the hardest time telling his children about the atrocities happening in the country.

Stakhovsky explained: “They are quite young and I don’t think they would understand the meaning of war, and I don’t think they would understand anything, my wife knew that but she never asked the question. direct question and I never told her directly – so when I said “I’m leaving” she started crying so there wasn’t really a conversation.

“It’s difficult to call with children, because each time they ask: ‘When are you coming?’ or ‘What are you doing?’ I’m just, ‘I don’t know, honestly.’ For me it’s not a good decision to be here and it was not the right decision to stay at home, all this is not fair.

“But I am here because I believe that the future of my country and the future of my children, and the future of Europe as we know it – it is in great danger, and if there is anything I can do to change the result, I will try to do.

The war in Ukraine is still going on.