Ukrainian fencers who denied playing against Russia at the World Cup are now supplying food and medicine to Kyiv

Andrii Scherba and Andrei Pogrebniak, who were part of the Ukrainian fencing team until ten days ago and competing in the World Cup in Cairo, have returned home to help their compatriots face the Russian invasion . Scherba and Pogrebniak took it upon themselves to deliver vital medicine and food to the trapped Ukrainians. Of those who remained in Ukraine, they still need life-saving medicine for threatening illnesses, and Scherba and Pogrebniak are making sure to help them.

Just last week, Scherba and Pogrebniak were in Egypt with the Ukrainian fencing team to compete in the World Cup. However, the Ukrainian fencing team withdrew from the competition minutes before their Round of 16 match against Russia. The Ukrainian team withdrew in protest against the Russian invasion of their country. They apologized to the referees and told them why they couldn’t compete. Ukrainian fencers were also seen holding banners proclaiming “Stop the war, save Ukraine”.

Russia–Ukraine War

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in the early hours of February 24. The Russian military invaded its neighbor by land, air and sea, bombarding significant Ukrainian military assets on the first day of the attack. The Ukrainian government imposed martial law in the country and urged all men between the ages of 18 and 60 to take up arms against invading troops. However, Ukraine currently only allows men to join the military who have past military experience, which is why Scherba and Pogrebniak chose to deliver medicine and food to Ukrainians.

Scherba and Pogrebniak aren’t the only Ukrainian sportsmen to join the fight against Russia. Former tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who once beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon, also returned to the country to fight the Russians. At the time of the Russian invasion, he was vacationing with his family in Dubai. He moved his family to Hungary and returned to Ukraine to join the army reserves.

Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, two former boxing champions, also took up arms against Russia. These are just a few examples of the incredible courage and patriotism of the Ukrainian people in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

(Photo: International Fencing Federation)