Žitnik was on the move with his friend when a huge sea of flames flashed across the street.
Former NHL hockey player Alexei Zhitnik is one of the many sports stars currently fighting for Ukraine in Kiev.
Žitnik, 49, was born in Ukraine but represented Russia at the national team level. He has the nationality of both countries.
During his extensive NHL career, my defender played 1,085 matches between 1992 and 2008. He won Olympic gold and silver in a Russian shirt. However, those achievements no longer press when the war is going on.
“This is no longer any show business,” Žitnik said in an interview with The Athletic.
Žitnik is currently the chairman of the society of his hometown Sokil Kiev. His game number 13 hangs on the roof of a local ice rink, the same hall where he once began his own career.
Now the ice rink, which is dear to NHL veterans, has also been bombed by the Russians. Two missiles recently hit a TV tower while damaging a hall in the city center.
A friend of Žitnik filmed a video of the explosion and the moments of terror that followed. You can watch the video from this link.
“I drove a car and heard everything at the same time. I saw two missiles flying over my head, ”Žitnik described the frightening moment.
At Zhitnik he does not have the right to leave Ukraine because of his age, nor, in his own words, would he leave, even if it were possible. He plans to fight to the last.
The Ukrainian does not understand how the world can be in this situation until 2022.
“I don’t understand how the Russians don’t know what’s going on. They ask me that and I just say open the web. They imagine that (Vladimir) Putin does everything right. They are like zombies, ”says Žitnik, and admits another problem:
“If Russian players in the NHL said anything against the war, they would run into problems. They are afraid. ”
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