Sergiy Stakhovsky comments on Daria Kasatkina criticizing Russia's actions in Ukraine

Stakhovsky thinks it would be better if more Russian followed in the footsteps of Kasatkina.

by Dzevad Mesic
Sergiy Stakhovsky comments on Daria Kasatkina criticizing Russia's actions in Ukraine
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Former Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky is applauding Daria Kasatkina for publicly criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and added the situation would probably be different if more athletes and people from Russia opted to do the same. 

Last year, Kasatkina was the top-ranked Russian female player when she described the situation in Ukraine as "a nightmare." As a result, Kasatkina faced backlash from certain Russian politicians and there were even calls for her to be listed as "a foreign agent." This year, Kasatkina admitted that she hasn't been to Russia since making her views about the war and that she can't go back there, at least not until the current government is still in charge.

"I do believe that if all the sports and all the people in Russia who are against the war would be the same vocal as [Kasatkina] was, there would be a completely different picture," Stakhovsky told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Stakhovsky: Every Ukrainian athlete is precious

Since 2022 February, Ukraine has lost a notable number of athletes who lost their lives defending their country.

"It's going to be very hard for Ukraine to come back. So we cherish every single athlete we have competing because we understand that might be our last star shining," Stakhovsky said.

Earlier this month, the IOC confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

"It's an absolute joke, in my opinion. [Russian athletes] all say they are scared for their lives, for their families, but truth is no one lives in Russia any more. None of them live in Russia. For me, they don't want to be part of the criticism, they don't want to lose their fans back in Russia, so they with roll it. We have to look for athletes who support, we have to present evidence to the Olympic committee, and then maybe, if they believe that this is enough, they will not allow these athletes to compete," Stakhovsky said. 

Sergiy Stakhovsky Daria Kasatkina