Sergiy Stakhovsky Erste Bank Open Austria 2014

Tennis star Sergiy Stakhovksy ‘not prepared to accept’ worst possible outcome of Russia-Ukraine war

Tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky shared his experiences of the frontlines of war-torn Ukraine, saying he’s “afraid” and constantly thinks of returning to his wife and three children.

After enlisting in Ukraine’s military reserves, Stakhvosky revealed the reality of the situation and the worst possible outcomes.

Should Russia win the war, one of worst case scenarios Stakhovsky fears is the complete annexation of his home nation.

As a result, Russia have been hit with a number of severe sanctions for their invasion of Ukraine from both a general and sporting perspective, although tennis has been criticized for adopting comparatively weak sanctions.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) forced Russian and Belarusian players to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ and there have been calls to outright ban Russian players from competition.

Similarly, both players and governing bodies alike have announced they will make donations to the Ukrainian war and humanitarian relief efforts.

In an interview with Spanish publication Marca, Stakhovsky said “I suppose because it’s my country that we are talking about. Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, have said on multiple occasions that Ukraine has never existed and that it was created by the Soviet Union.

“I’m quite certain that if Ukraine lose this war it will be erased from the maps and the history books of Russia and the entire world.

“There would be no country to go back to. I would have the nationality of a country that never existed, and I’m not prepared to accept this.

“We’re going to resist for a long time to come. Russia will not be able to take full control of Ukraine because resistance is everywhere.

“It’s in the streets, amongst civilians and around the world. The whole world is against Russia.

“Of course I’m afraid. Only stupid people are not afraid. But fortunately, there’s no crossfire right now in Kiev because the Russian troops can’t enter the city.

“There are many¬†barriers in the outskirts of Kiev. The only danger right now is coming from the sky with the bombs. Perhaps there are small groups of Russian soldiers trying to reach Kiev, but for us it like hunting season has begun.

“Everyone knows that if they see a group of Russians trying to reach the city, we have to catch them. It’s not the best choice for them.

“In terms of returning, of course I’ve thought about it. I think about it daily. I have [a wife and] three children. But right now, we are at war and no citizen between 18 and 60 years old can leave the city. We will be here for as long as it lasts.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.