Ukrainian Elina Svitolina says the Russian invasion of her home country has left her ‘mentally drained’
Ukrainian Elina Svitolina says the fallout from the Russian invasion of her home country has left her “mentally drained”.
And now she has revealed more about the impact the war has had on her wellbeing.
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Speaking to SNTV, Svitolina said: “It’s been a tough couple of months for me to deal with everything and of course, having my family back in Ukraine is having a big impact as well.
“So for me, this has been a really, really rough couple of months mentally to hold that – everything – on my shoulders.
“That’s why it was a better decision for me to take my time to really settle down with everything.
“Everyday it’s something happening back home with my family. For the past few days there have been shootings and explosions going on in Odessa, my hometown. So mentally it’s draining, mentally it’s very tough.
“I can’t even imagine what the people are going through back in Ukraine, what my family is going through.
“Of course, the first week was the toughest week of my life. I was so worried about the people in Ukraine, about my family, what was going to be next. Every minute there was new information. But then you find ways to deal with that.
“Right now, I take my time during the day to just switch off my phone for like ten minutes and this really helps me to be calmer and to deal with the situation better.”
Svitolina also made it clear how vital she feels it is for Russian and Belarussian athletes to speak out on the invasion.
She said: “For us, for Ukrainians, it’s very important that they speak out, that they choose which side they take. We want to know, we want to feel safe about that because if they don’t say their opinion on this, we don’t know if they support their government, if they support the actions of the [Russian] army.
“I feel they need to speak up about their position. This is very important. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Grand Slam or another tournament, I feel like every single Russian or Belarussian athlete should take their position so that we know there are no bad people among us.”
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