Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko, qualified for the third round of Wimbledon on Wednesday, took the opportunity to denounce the Russian “lie” about the missile strike that hit a shopping center in Kremenchuk, killing at least 18 people.
As she had just taken out her compatriot Anhelina Kalinina, seeded N.29, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, the 101st player in the world thanked the public where some spectators were waving yellow and blue flags for their “incredible support”.
At a press conference, she had been authorized to wear a ribbon in the national colors and she denounced the “Russian propaganda which says, for example, that the Kremenchuk shopping center was not in operation”.
“It’s a lie because my physical trainer is from this city. Her mother-in-law, she works in this shopping center and she was lucky to be off that day, ”assured Tsurenko.
“He and his father were not far from this place (…) and his father fell under the effect of the shock wave”, she still told.
A Russian missile struck and destroyed the commercial compound on Monday, killing at least 18 people and some missing.
The next day, the Russian army denied having targeted a civilian installation, claiming to have bombed a nearby arms depot and that the shopping center was not in operation at the time.
Tsurenko backed Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the tournament this year and pledged to donate 10% of any prize money she receives.
In the next round, Tsurenko will face the German Jule Niemeier, 97th player in the world, who created the surprise by leaving the Estonian and seeded N.2, Anett Kontaveit.