Life in one suitcase. The story of the family of the deceased sportsman who defended Irpin

Life in one suitcase.  The story of the family of the deceased sportsman who defended Irpin

Today, she is one of the million Ukrainian refugees in Poland. A daughter, a mother, a sister, a nephew and two suitcases are all that remain from a past life. The rest was taken away by the war – homeland, home and beloved husband. Anastasia Dzhunkivska is the wife of Oleksiy Dzhunkivskiy, a well-known boxing coach and athlete in Ukraine and abroad. The story of his brutal murder by Russian terrorists spread around the world media: in March of last year, he was shot just in the boxing gym where he trained future champions. Anastasiya Dzhunkivska spoke about the happy years together with Oleksii and about life after his death for the special project “Hide Your Own” from “Ukrainian Pravda. Life”. And tomorrow was the war… On February 23, 2022, their daughter Angelica turned 15. Flowers and a gift were handed over, and they planned to celebrate tomorrow, because that Wednesday Oleksiy had as many as 7 training sessions. But tomorrow – the war came. “The man immediately told us to leave Irpen, but we weren’t ready,” Anastasia recalls. “There were already planes flying in the sky, and we couldn’t refuel… Around six in the evening, the first powerful explosion rang out in Gostomel, and our walls shook. At that moment finally realized how serious everything was. We ran to the basement – and I cried.” Oleksiy immediately told his relatives that he would stay to defend Irpin and help the locals. “He said that he would be there to the last and would not retreat a single step. That he and the boys would drive the Orks through the Donbass to Moscow. He did not even go down to the basement, put his hand on his heart and said: “I am not afraid of anything, only for you Angelica And everything else doesn’t bother me.” So he left me with his hand on his heart,” the woman recounts. Anastasia with her daughter, sister Zhanna and her son, having spent the night in the basement under continuous cannonade and explosions, set off on a difficult journey. “Our ground trembled from the shelling in Gostomel,” she says. “I don’t know how God got us out of there. We had 10 minutes to go – the navigator showed an hour. The car stalled right at the gas station. There was a huge queue. Miraculously, they filled us with a full tank, although others they gave only 10 liters each. And we went to the Cherkasy region to visit a friend.” Anastasia with her daughter Anzhelika They were shot at close range, 6 bullets: temple, chest, stomach Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi became a volunteer. He helped his pupils, their families and other residents of Irpin with food and evacuation. I took a bag from a friend and delivered food and water to civilians and to checkpoints. “There was no electricity, gas, or water in the city. He literally washed his feet once a month and fixed things,” says his wife. They tried to call constantly – as soon as Oleksiy found a connection. On March 22, he called Nastya and promised to come tomorrow, because he really missed his family. A woman booked a hotel room for her lover… “And then someone called me and said that my husband had been killed. I didn’t believe it, blocked the number. I called my friends. Everyone said that they would find out now. They made up a story that he was under the rubble, that they sent volunteers, and promised to dig him up. No one could dare to tell the truth,” recalls the widow. She was ready to give all the money in the world to save him. and could not understand how he could be left under the rubble for the night. And then I read an article on the Internet: Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi, boxer, trainer of champions, was killed. But she refused to believe it, because there was no evidence. I wrote a letter to the editorial office, demanding to remove the publication. Even when the man’s friend from the police called her on March 29 and confirmed the information, she refused to believe it: “They sent me a photo for identification. I couldn’t help but look at it – I asked a friend and she recognized him. I still can’t look at that photo “. According to witnesses, the Russians broke into Oleksii’s hall. At that time, the armed forces were already entering Irpin. The invaders wanted to hide in his hall, but he did not let them. He even tried to fight enemies bare-handed. But they shot him at close range: 6 bullets – temple, chest and stomach. The killers lived in the hall for another three days. And the body was thrown under the fence, where it lay and where it was later found, 20 meters from the hall. Even today, people bring him coffee, chocolates, and fresh flowers there. “The children simply adored him,” says Nastya. “One student even got a tattoo of the club’s logo on himself. By the way, his youngest students don’t even know he’s gone. Their parents tell them he went abroad.” The deceased boxing trainer and athlete Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi “If he sees me from the sky, he suffers because I roar without end” Their love story began, as in a fairy tale, on New Year’s Eve. They met at a celebration and have not been apart since. “He courted me very nicely. He came with flowers the very next morning. He was 1000% sure of himself: he walked into the apartment and said that I would be his wife. He had an unreal sense of humor. I can endlessly remember his jokes. It was so easy with him!” Nastya smiles. Three months later, they played a traditional Ukrainian wedding. In love, a daughter was born – a blonde with blue eyes. “This is a complete copy of him, like a photocopier. He took Angelica in his arms for the first time – and they immediately had contact. It is difficult to describe in words. He came to the maternity hospital every morning and swaddled her. He went to training in the morning, returned in the evening and always bathed her. I just took her in my arms and she stopped crying in a second,” says the woman. The daughter walked only with her father. He took her to meetings, to competitions. He was also kind, sensitive, and generous to other children: “Meetings, competitions, trips – all this is very expensive. But he did not want to take money from the parents of the children whom he trained and took to competitions. He always found solutions, earned money to to take the pupils to the tournament. The little one comes to him for training in a T-shirt, and he takes off his sweater – and gives it to the child.” For a long time, Nastya could not tell her daughter that her father was no longer there. She herself could not believe it for a long time, all the time she was looking for him among the living. Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi’s last trip was spent in Vasylkiv, where they met for the first time. “If it weren’t for my friends,” says the widow, “I wouldn’t have managed. I didn’t know anything at the time: how he was taken away during the hostilities, who organized everything. They only asked me where to bury me. They brought me like a mummy, and – how the mummy was taken away. I refused to go because I didn’t believe he was there.” She says she lost most of herself. He worries that when he now sees her from heaven, he suffers, that she cries endlessly. In his entire life, he never shed a single tear on her. Is it from laughter and happiness? Anastasia with her husband Oleksiy Life in Poland with a dream of Ukraine After that, her life seemed to fall apart. The woman remembers the events after the funeral as if they were torn from the depths of her memory. First, a friend took Nastya and her daughter to Bulgaria – she says, literally, like a vegetable. “We were there for a month,” she says. “During this time, my child never left the room – not to breathe the sea, not to have breakfast or lunch. We had to leave because I don’t know what would happen to us.” “. They returned to Ukraine, to the Kyiv region. And already in August, they decided to go to Poland, where her mother and sister Zhanna and their son had previously found shelter. The nephew is still waiting for Oleksiy – he was not told about his death. They were accommodated in a hotel free of charge. First together with my sister, and later in a separate room. Three meals a day are also free. There was nowhere to return, and even friends refused – because of constant shelling and large-scale power outages in autumn and winter. But they really want to go home. Although, according to Nastya, all the necessary conditions have been created in Poland: displaced people are taken care of, financially assisted, and provided with medical services. “The situation with medicine is interesting,” says Anastasia. “The program for Ukrainians provides a lot of things for free. But you have to wait a year for a scheduled ultrasound. If you want it right away, you have to pay 2,000 hryvnias. The dentist is the same: it doesn’t matter if the pain is acute or not, he’ll take a look and write it down.” for a month’s appointment, this is the procedure. All medicines are only by prescription.” Volunteering helps not to lose one’s mind In order not to lose one’s mind, a Ukrainian woman found herself in volunteering. The Poles opened a cultural and educational space where children learn literature, history, geography, Ukrainian and Polish languages, sing, dance, give concerts, and go on excursions free of charge. Anastasia helps them prepare food, clean up during concerts, wash and iron costumes. Many of Oleksiy’s friends are now at the front, so Nastya turned to the organizers of the space for help: “They responded and together with us do a lot, possible and impossible. Mrs. Renata and Mr. Oleksandr, their son, constantly bring aid to Ukraine – cars, bulletproof vests. We collected generators, clothes, and medicines for our boys on the front lines. We made trench candles – more than 2,500 pieces were handed over in the winter. If there are requests, I try to close them. And my daughter fully supports me in my volunteer activities.” While there is nowhere to return to, 16-year-old Angelica is now in her final year. She studies online, like the whole school. He plans to enter the Kyiv College of the International University to study tourism. She dreams of returning to Ukraine as soon as possible: “She is determined and stubborn, like dad. To stay in Poland – and she does not want to listen. She says that she will go without me if necessary. But I also want to go to Ukraine, to my land.” But there is actually nowhere for them to return. Shortly before the full-scale invasion, the Junkivskis bought their own house in the village of Stoyanka, Buchansk district, and planned to renovate it and move in in 2022. But… Now this house stands empty, cut by shells, without windows and doors, as a silent and at the same time eloquent reminder of what the occupiers did in the spring of last year in the Kyiv region. World champion Oleksandr Usyk undertook to restore the building in which Oleksiy Dzhunkivsky rented a hall. “I would like children to study at Oleksiy Dzhunkivskyi’s club for free. As my husband wanted. I know that the boys, his friends, will do anything,” says Anastasia Dzhunkivska. “I want to make a memorial plaque with his awards… And also open a Fund in his name and to help the families of deceased boxers, who are very many among the Angels of Sport.” Of Oleksiy’s belongings, she only had silver boxing gloves and a watch. “When I smell this watch to smell His scent, I want to die. I was not comforted by it. And so far I cannot understand God’s plan,” says Anastasia. *** On the “Shelter” website, caring Ukrainians can offer housing for displaced persons by placing a corresponding ad. Therefore, IDPs can find temporary shelter in any region of Ukraine or abroad, for a few days or for a longer period. The filter system will help you easily choose the option that meets your criteria and quickly contact the owner. The site works in 40 languages. This is a completely volunteer initiative. It was launched on the first day of the full-scale invasion by People’s Deputy of Ukraine Halyna Yanchenko. Later, the “Shelter” program received state support. Homeowners who sheltered displaced persons receive compensation from the state for the payment of communal services. Roksana Kasumova, specially for “UP. Life”

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