“I plan to go to my coach, Enver Ablaev, he lives in Mukachevo, Transcarpathian region,” Abramenko said. “I go by car, I take essential things with me, food, and my Olympic medals.”
Beyond his newly minted silver medal, Abramenko won a gold medal in 2018.
The small world of aerials is trying to provide comfort. Athletes from Switzerland, including the former Olympic freestyle skier Andreas Isoz, have been raising funds and planned to go this weekend to Mukachevo, or as close as they could get near the Ukrainian border, to hand off supplies.
Abramenko is not sure what the coming days will bring. He is worried for his parents, who live in Mykolaiv, a port city on the Black Sea where Abramenko was raised. It sits between the occupied city of Kherson and Odessa, expected to be a key target of the Russians.
“Fighting is already underway in Nikolaev,” Abramenko wrote, using an alternate spelling for the city. “My parents are sitting at home and hearing explosions. It is dangerous to leave Nikolaev at the moment, they want to be there. Might be able to leave later.”
Abramenko’s quest is to get to Mukachevo “to think about my next steps.” He is unsure if his wife and son will head across the border as refugees, like more than a million other Ukrainians. He just knows that, like all men his age, he cannot leave Ukraine.
“I don’t know if I’ll go to war or not, I don’t know what process the guys who are being called up are going through,” he wrote. “At the moment, our army is fully coping with the offensives of Russian soldiers and equipment.”
After a couple of hours of sporadic messaging, the replies from Abramenko in Kyiv stopped. It was close to midnight there.