I tried to help everyone

Friday, May 13, 2022



Shakhtar defender Viktor Korniienko spoke about his volunteering, serving in the territorial defence forces, and Ukraine’s inevitable victory

At the start of the war, Viktor Korniienko enlisted in the territorial defence forces in his native Poltava region and volunteered, helping the army and civilians. The player spoke about those two months in his exclusive interview, the full version of which is available on the club's YouTube channel.
- Viktor, since the beginning of the war you have been volunteering as part of the territorial defence forces. Could you tell us why you made that decision?
- I decided right away that I would be helping people in every way I could. I have many friends who joined the territorial defence forces, I also have acquaintances in the military registration & enlistment offices, I talked with them, found out what they need: food and gear. Then I started going to shops by car and buying everything. Two or three times a day, I loaded my car by the hypermarket with clothes, gear, food, even some little things like ordinary matches, and delivered all that to checkpoints in Poltava and around the region. I left in the morning and returned just before the curfew time. Throughout the two months I was driving all the time. They also asked us to patrol the village from 8pm til 6am during the curfew hours. I had shifts nearly every other day in the first two or three weeks. Why I decided to take part in the territorial defence? I am a Ukrainian and just the same kind of person as those guys who went to war. It seems to me that in this kind of situation people need to unite, be as one, and help one another.
- Who supported you in volunteering – your family members, teammates?
- My wife helped me: together we collected some clothing for kids, gave people our own clothes, went to pharmacies and bought medicines, diapers – by the way, we even ordered them from Western Ukraine, and people sent them to us. We delivered all that to the mothers with children who needed it, as well as to the displaced people. As for the players, they also joined in. Marlon immediately transferred some money, Sergii Kryvtsov, other Brazilians – Vitao, Maycon – and many other guys sent some money. All of them worried as well, they saw the situation we were experiencing and helped as much as they could.

- What things from peaceful life are you missing the most and what will Ukraine be like after it wins?
- I miss everything, to be honest. It’s clear that we all miss the life we had before when we played at the stadiums, when fans were present there. But I don't even feel like thinking about that. I want to think of just one thing – that soon comes the day when they will tell us that it's all over, that we've won and the war has ended. That’s the only thing I want. Our people are tough-spirited. Our strength is in our spirit, our character. Therefore, we will definitely win, and Ukraine will be even better!