Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia's top-ranked female tennis player, made a powerful statement condemning the invasion this week and is now once again urging the Kremlin to stop killing innocent people.
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Pavlyuchenkova on Wednesday joined CNN's Brianna Keilar to condemn what Vladimir Putin is doing and call for peace, as reported by The Hill.
"First of all it's a very difficult time for everybody, I would say. And it just, it cause me fear. I'm confused, I don't know what's going to happen next," the tennis star said, urging other Russian athletes to join her.
"But I can only speak out. And I would like more athletes joining me to speak out on this matter," she added.
'Stop The Violence'
Pavlyuchenkova that she is neither a politician nor an expert on war and international affairs, and insisted that all she cares about is putting an end to the senseless violence in Ukraine.
"I'm not a politician. I'm just a woman who plays tennis professionally. So I don't know much about it [the conflict in Ukraine]. I just tried to speak out," Pavlyuchenkova told CNN.
"I just tried to make my point. I just don't want violence. All we want right now -- our hearts are broken. We just want peace and love and [to] stop the violence," she added.
In her statement earlier this week, Pavlyuchenkova said that Russia is her home but that both she and her friends and family are now "in complete fear."
I am against war and violence. Personal ambitions or political motives cannot justify violence. This takes away the future. Not only from us, but also from our children. I am confused and do not know how to help this situation. I'm just an athlete who plays tennis. I am not a politician, not a public figure, I have no experience in this. I can only public ally disagree with these decisions taken and openly talk about it. Stop the violence. Stop the war.
Andrey Rublev And Daniil Medvedev Spoke Out Too
Two Russian male tennis stars, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, have also spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine.
Medvedev said last week that he is "all for peace" and stressed that tennis is not nearly as important as saving the lives of innocent people, as reported by CNN.
Rublev, meanwhile, wrote "No war please" on a camera after a match last week. He later explained that his goal was to forcefully speak out against what Putin is doing.