“I promised to come back to the kids,” testifies tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“Russia does not spread anything but destruction”

How did you decide to return to Kyiv and join the Army Reserve?

It was a good question. If I knew the answer, I would tell you. I can’t say why or how. In fact, there were two very different options. Are you here in Ukraine or at home? I’m always very proud to represent my country, so the first option won. The success of Ukraine is important to me. It must be understood that Russia does not spread anything but destruction. President Putin reiterated that Ukraine does not exist as a nation, was founded by Lenin and Khrushchev, and is always part of Russia.

How was your wife’s reaction, and what do we say to her children at such times?

My wife reacted terribly … she was sad, angry and didn’t want to talk to me anymore. The kids don’t know I’m here. It’s too small. When I left, the child asked me, “Dad, where are you going?” “. I answered,” I’ll be back soon. ” Now the goal of my life is to find them, I promised them I’ll be back. I didn’t justify myself or expand the reason. They didn’t understand. Especially the youngest of 3 years old.

Where were you when you learned that the Russians were attacking your country?

We went on vacation to Dubai with our wife and children and visited one of our sons, the Godfather, Sergei Lebrov (former Ukrainian international soccer player and editor’s note). I woke up at 6am with a message from a friend that Russia was trying to attack us. On Tuesday I called my parents, we will join them on Sunday in Kyiv. There was also my mother’s birthday on Friday. Finally, on Saturday morning, I returned to Budapest to ensure the safety of my family. And in the process, I left for Slovakia before driving to Kyiv.

“Obviously I’m scared, everyone is scared in such a situation. I have no military experience. It would be ridiculous not to be afraid.”

Do you have a family in Ukraine?

My brother, father and grandmother are there. My mother and other family members made a long 14-hour drive from Kyiv to the Slovak border. My brother and dad are doctors and still work in the capital.

What is your day in Kyiv and what is the atmosphere there?

The atmosphere is pretty positive. People collect, organize and establish checkpoints. Despite the context, we maintain our spirit. I spent only one night in Kyiv, I arrived at noon on Monday. (Yawning) It’s hard to fall asleep, I hardly slept for a few days. The attack on Kyiv was heard in the distance, and the Russians hit the TV antenna in the capital. I learned that at least four innocent people died. Unfortunately, escalations will occur in the next few days and I think they will get worse. We are ready for what will happen.

What is your state of mind, do you feel afraid or anxious?

I’m still positive, but obviously I’m scared, everyone is scared in such a situation. I have no military experience, it would be ridiculous not to be afraid.

“I know how to use a weapon, but no one has shot it.”

Are you ready to pick up your weapons if needed?

Of course I am, otherwise I wouldn’t have come here. I know how to use a gun, but no one has shot me and no one has shot me.

You have been very active on social networks since you arrived in Kyiv, what is your purpose?

Russia, along with state media and news agencies, has extensive publicity around the world. My only goal is to counter this promotion. Russians claim that we are fascists or neo-Nazis. We want people to understand that we are citizens who want to live their lives with our values. We believe in the same values ​​as the European Union: freedom, democracy and dignity. Russia brings only destruction, misery and dictatorship.

What do you think of recent economic and sporting sanctions?

I think it’s very good. It’s eight years late, but it’s still very good. It’s better than being late. It should have already taken place in 2014, when the Crimean was annexed.

You have something to do with Bordeaux, especially the Villa Primrose Club, have you had any feedback from them since your departure?