Abramenko won Olympic silver. Now he’s hiding in a Kyiv garage

Sixteen days earlier, Oleksandr Abramenko was in China, celebrating his silver medal — the one medal of any sort received by Ukraine on the Beijing Winter Video games.

Abramenko — a prime aerialist in freestyle snowboarding, five-time Olympian and the nation’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony — garnered extra consideration after the occasion, when {a photograph} of him hugging a Russian rival was extensively circulated.

On Friday evening in Kyiv, Abramenko, 33, was within the parking storage of his house constructing along with his spouse Alexandra and their two-year-old son Dmitry.

1000’s of individuals have been making an attempt to flee town, resulting in massive crowds and chaos at Kyiv’s fundamental prepare station as Ukraine’s army mentioned the Russian military’s major goal was to encircle the capital.

Throughout a textual content dialog with The New York Instances, Abramenko had somebody snap {a photograph} of his household, sitting on a mattress whereas bundled in opposition to the chilly. Dmitry sucked on a pacifier.

It was their seventh evening sleeping within the storage, believing it to be safer than their Twentieth-floor house, not removed from town’s main airport.

“We spend the evening within the underground parking within the automotive, as a result of the air assault siren is consistently on,” Abramenko wrote in the course of the trade. “It’s scary to sleep within the house, I personally noticed from the window how the air defence programs labored on enemy missiles, and robust explosions have been heard.”

By Friday, amid the scramble to desert Kyiv, Abramenko knew it was time to go away, headed for some unknown future. The household deliberate to drive Saturday to the western fringe of Ukraine, close to the borders of Slovakia and Hungary. In the most effective of occasions, it might take 10 hours.

“I plan to go to my coach, Enver Ablaev, he lives in Mukachevo, Transcarpathian area,” Abramenko mentioned. “I am going by automotive, I take important issues with me, meals, and my Olympic medals.”

Past his newly minted silver medal, Abramenko received a gold medal in 2018.

The small world of aerials is attempting to supply consolation. Athletes from Switzerland, together with former Olympic freestyle skier Andreas Isoz, have been elevating funds and deliberate to go this weekend to Mukachevo — or as shut as they may get close to the Ukrainian border — at hand off provides.

Abramenko is just not positive what the approaching days will carry. He’s nervous for his dad and mom, who dwell in Mykolaiv, a port metropolis on the Black Sea the place Abramenko was raised. It sits between the occupied metropolis of Kherson and Odessa, anticipated to be a key goal of the Russians.

“Combating is already underway in Nikolaev,” Abramenko wrote, utilizing an alternate spelling for town. “My dad and mom are sitting at dwelling and listening to explosions. It’s harmful to go away Nikolaev for the time being, they need to be there. Would possibly have the ability to depart later.”

Abramenko’s quest is to get to Mukachevo “to consider my subsequent steps.” He’s not sure if his spouse and son will head throughout the border as refugees, like a couple of million different Ukrainians. He simply is aware of that, like all males his age, he can not depart Ukraine.

“I don’t know if I’ll go to conflict or not, I don’t know what course of the fellows who’re being referred to as up are going via,” he wrote. “In the intervening time, our military is totally dealing with the offensives of Russian troopers and tools.”

After a few hours of sporadic messaging, the replies from Abramenko in Kyiv stopped. It was near midnight there.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button