The Ukrainian team finds an escape and almost a surprise against the United States

Kichenok fled the country after the war started and needed 31 hours to travel from kyiv to Moldova with his parents. Her twin, Nadiia, w...


Kichenok fled the country after the war started and needed 31 hours to travel from kyiv to Moldova with his parents. Her twin, Nadiia, who is also part of the Ukrainian team, left Kyiv just before the Russian invasion, traveling to California with her husband.

“It was two days of hell for me until they got to a safe place,” Nadiia said of her family. “I had constant panic attacks. I’ve never experienced anything like 40 minutes where your body is shaking and you don’t know what to do but breathe deeply.

The Kichenoks’ father, who is 64, has since returned to Ukraine and tried to volunteer for the army despite being over the age limit.

“They said to him: ‘Grandfather, go home’”, says Nadiia Kichenok. “’We have too many people here. We will call you when we need you.

Yastremska, 21, fled her hometown of Odessa with her 15-year-old sister, Ivanna, crossing into Romania after saying goodbye to their parents on the Ukrainian side of the Danube. The sisters have been traveling together on tour for nearly two months while their parents remain in Odessa, where one of their duties is to organize relief efforts through the Yastremska Charitable Foundation.

Unable to return home, the Yastremska sisters remain without a fixed training base, but they will head near Madrid to prepare for the clay court season. The Kichenok twins will travel to Stuttgart, Germany, for a tournament, and Zavatska will return to Cannes, France, where she shares her small apartment with her mother and other relatives who fled Ukraine.

After a week of socializing and a final night of karaoke with the Americans on Saturday, the Ukrainians will move on, but with the hope that Asheville and the rest of the world aren’t moving too fast.

“I don’t want people to get used to this grief we are going through,” said Nadiia Kichenok. “We don’t want people to feel sorry for us. We want them to stay strong with us, fighting for freedom and humanity.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The Ukrainian team finds an escape and almost a surprise against the United States
The Ukrainian team finds an escape and almost a surprise against the United States
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