Andriy Shevchenko shares his feelings after first visit to Ukraine during wartime

20 April, 05:56 PM
Shevchenko spoke about his first visit to Kyiv after the start of a full-scale war (Photo:Vogue)

Shevchenko spoke about his first visit to Kyiv after the start of a full-scale war (Photo:Vogue)

Ukrainian football legend Andriy Shevchenko shared his thoughts and feelings on returning to Kyiv on his first visit to the Ukrainian capital after Russia's full-scale invasion, in an interview with Ukrainian Vogue magazine on April 15.

"It was important for me to come to Ukraine,” he explained.

“To be honest, for the first two months I felt as if something had been taken away from me. I wanted to go to my homeland, to my hometown. I had never seen Kyiv like this before. Very few people in general, and a lot of soldiers with weapons. I walked around the city, went to the places I loved. I don't know why, but for some reason I needed it. The burnt-out house in Obolon, where I grew up. Checkpoints and anti-tank crosses near the house where I live. On the one hand, you feel enormous pain from the realization of what happened, how much suffering there is, how much death and destruction they brought to us. On the other hand, you admire people’s resilience.”

Video of day

Shevchenko also recalled filming a joint video with U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and world heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk, as well as traveling to Borodyanka and Irpin with actor Liev Schreiber.

"There was no single intact building on the main street,” he remembered.

“We stopped at the hospital, which was razed to the ground. Then we went to the stadium, filled with children. We gave a small master class, spoke, and took a penalty shot. I saw the spark in them - the desire to play, no matter what. And then we went to a temporary settlement where people lived who had lost almost everything. Of course, they were crying, telling us horrible stories of the occupation. But what impressed us the most was that they treated us to lightly salted cucumbers and jam. Even in the darkness, in the most difficult time of their lives, Ukrainians demonstrate the endurance and hospitality that everyone admires.”

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