Her husband was killed three years ago during the fighting in Donbas (East).

Olesya Vorotniuk, a ballerina of the Ukrainian National Opera, left the company to defend her country, writes The Economist.

According to the Economist, 30 years old, Olesya Vorotniuk has been dancing professionally with opera since 2009. She was a child gymnast before starting ballet lessons at ten. She studied at the Kyiv Choreographic School, and then joined the dance troupe of the National Opera.

“A career that is hard on the feet,” she says simply. Military service is as much a part of her life as dancing, the publication writes.

Her husband, with whom she had a son, was killed three years ago during the fighting in the east of Ukraine. The woman took a break from dancing back in 2014 to go east. When the great war began in February 2022, the woman decided to stay in Ukraine and fight.

“I could shoot. I knew that if there was a full-on invasion, I would not go abroad. I planned to fight,” she says. The first days of the war were chaos, Vorotniuk recalls. Then she simply helped to carry out the evacuation of civilians.

And soon she decided to join the territorial defense forces, the military reserve of the country. He says that it was not easy to get in – preference was given to men with military experience: “As a ballerina, I was not top on the list.

However, in her opinion, there are some similarities between ballet and military service: ballet instils discipline. It cultivates strength of mind and tolerance to pain. “Feet in shoes hurt; staying on your toes hurt. Your feet bleed. But you learn to dance through all this,” says Vorotniuk.

She knows several women who are military and have been involved in rhythmic gymnastics, which for similar reason as a kin to military training. Vorotniuk says: Ukraine is a great sovereign nation whose people demonstrate their unity.

«Every citizen plays his role. We want our children to grow up with a strong, confident Ukraine, and not with the lies that were sold to us during the Soviet Union,” she says.

In early June, the woman decided that it was time to dance again. The Russians had moved far from Kyiv. Her next performance will be in Die Libelle by Josef Strauss. According to a ballet master of the National Opera Viktor Lytvynov, her main advantage as a dancer is courage.

“It’s this that makes her such a good fighter”- he says. Vorotnyuk knows that she can be called back to the war at any time. She still practices shooting almost every day and works as a volunteer in her neighborhood. Against the missles attacks on the city, she knows that the violence is not over, the war continues.

“There was this myth about great Russia and its great army. But after all the looting and looting, we see the truth: they come here to steal our toilets. I saw Russian culture in Bucha and Irpin. I wonder if these Russians have read Pushkin,” the woman shares.

Earlier, Ukrainian Zoya Versace, who has lived in Monaco for 7 years, told how she helps Ukrainians during the war.

Kyiv News

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