Kichenok fled the nation after the battle began and wanted 31 hours to get from Kyiv to Moldova together with her dad and mom. Her twin, Nadiia, additionally a part of Ukraine’s group, left Kyiv simply earlier than Russia invaded, touring to California together with her husband.
“It was two days of hell for me till they acquired to a protected place,” Nadiia mentioned of her household. “I had fixed panic assaults. I by no means skilled something like that, like 40 minutes your physique is shaking, and you do not know what to do moreover deep breaths.”
The Kichenoks’ father, who’s 64, has since returned to Ukraine and tried to volunteer for the army regardless of exceeding the age restrict.
“They informed him, ‘Grandfather, return residence,'” Nadiia Kichenok mentioned. “’We’ve too many individuals right here. We’ll name you once we want you.’”
Yastremska, 21, fled Odesa, her residence metropolis, together with her 15-year-old sister, Ivanna, crossing into Romania after saying goodbye to their dad and mom on the Ukrainian facet of the Danube River. The sisters have been touring on tour collectively for almost two months whereas their dad and mom stay in Odesa, the place considered one of their duties has been organizing reduction efforts by Yastremska’s charitable basis.
Unable to return residence, the Yastremska sisters stay with no mounted coaching base, however they’ll head subsequent to Madrid to arrange for the clay-court season. The Kichenok twins will journey to Stuttgart, Germany, for a match, and Zavatska will return to Cannes, France, the place she is sharing her small house together with her mom and different relations who fled Ukraine.
After per week of togetherness and a ultimate night time of karaoke with the People on Saturday, the Ukrainians will transfer on, however with the hope that Asheville and the broader world don’t transfer on too shortly.
“I do not need individuals to get used to this grief that we’re experiencing,” Nadiia Kichenok mentioned. “We do not need individuals to be sorry for us. We wish them to remain robust with us, combating for freedom and humanity.”