Olga Davydova: “I made a very difficult decision for myself
Short: I am the champion and record holder of Russia in freediving, one of the top athletes in this sport, a freediving instructor with 9 years of experience and a yoga teacher. I am a mother of two children and a citizen of Russia. I have made the decision to no longer represent my country in international competitions, even if it means the end of my sports career. Perhaps in the near future none of the Russian athletes will have the opportunity to participate in international competitions, but I made my choice not from the fact of inevitability, but from my own convictions.
What I am saying is nothing compared to the nightmare that is happening now. But it is important for me to express my position. (In general, it is not clear how, with my inability to remain silent, I will continue to live in a country where 15 years in prison are sewn for "treason to the Motherland. But I still do not know how to remain silent. I still have no idea and do not want to think about how people live in Northern Korea.)
I am categorically against the Putin regime and the war in Ukraine unleashed by the Russian government. I do not consider the policy of other states involved in this bloodshed to be an excuse for what is happening. I am a citizen of THIS country and therefore, as a Russian, I am responsible for what is happening here and now.
I am an ethnic Russian, I do not have Ukrainian blood, but I have many friends and relatives in Ukraine, and I have enough information about what is happening there now. And no matter who and how wrong in the past: today millions of people live in hell. And it was Russian tanks that crossed the Ukrainian border.
Since childhood, I grew up with the idea of the feat of the Soviet people during the Second World War. The fact that we Russians are the heirs of a heroic past: a victorious people, a liberating people, and we will never allow war. I am one of those who, at the sound of the USSR anthem, goosebumps run down my skin. Only when I got older did I learn about the horrors of the Gulag and millions of denunciations.
I remember the collapse of the USSR and the incitement of nationalist wars throughout the post-Soviet space, and I thought that we, Russians, would not fall for the bait of politicians pushing peoples together. My government has finally deprived me of these patriotic illusions, and thank God. There is only one step from patriotism to nationalism. I am ashamed of my country. I believe that HUMANITY is above state interests.
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