The effects of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia and the war that ensued have caused, in addition to the many losses in terms of human lives and the destruction on Ukrainian territory, enormous psychological damage to the many Ukrainians who are far from their home and who they left their families there.
One of these people is the 19-year-old tennis player Marta Kostyuk, number 60 in the world ranking, who has started an awareness campaign since the conflict began, showing all the horrors of the conflict. The Ukrainian tennis player, who left her family in her native country, has lived through a very difficult period and, in an interview with CNN, she made very strong statements.
Kostyuk: "No Russian tennis player has contacted us about our situation"
Kostyuk said that bad thoughts have passed through her head several times in the last few weeks: "In the last few hours the father of a tennis friend of mine has died and his house is completely destroyed.
I cannot describe what I feel. It's been two months and I've been through ups and downs. The first two weeks were awful and over time I am trying to come to terms with all of this. A few weeks ago I started working with a psychologist who is helping me enormously because I got to a point where I had very dangerous thoughts.
I don't want to tell what you can already imagine. It is horrible to see that hell does not end in my country and that I don't know what will happen next. It makes me very helpless to feel that I can't do anything and there are times when I wonder what my life is for, what I should do with it." The tennis player then explained how she changed her role in recounting the horrors of the conflict: "The only thing I want is not to feel like a victim and not to convey this in my statements.
At the beginning of the conflict I didn't know what to think, I had never seen myself in a similar situation and I could only express victimhood. Now I've changed my perspective and realized that I don't have to remain silent or play the victim.
I have to stop complaining and ask for help and focus on real needs and try to be a tennis professional." Kostyuk then criticized the attitude of Russian tennis players who, according to the 19-year-old from Kiev, were not really close to their Ukrainian colleagues: "It has been shown for many years that sport cannot be separated from politics.
We are trying to find out why no Russian tennis player has contacted us about our situation. I feel very lonely, before we had a lot of relationships in the circuit, but now I don't relate to anyone. Everyone says they want to help us and show solidarity, but then they don't even talk to us.
The Russians have an obligation to get their family members out of there and to speak openly about what they think of the barbarism of the invasion. Even if they support it, they have to talk. I would not like to live in a country where I cannot express my feelings."