Ukrainian was secretly taken out of Russia: National team player flees Russia at night via Turkey after refusing to terminate contract
Danylo Pyvovarenko, a 19-year-old outside hitter for the Ukrainian national volleyball team, said that he secretly left Russia after the full-scale invasion of his country. Since 2021, Danylo has played for the Novosibirsk Lokomotiv youth team and stayed there until the end of March 2022 because he could not terminate his contract. Then he escaped and joined the Spanish club Rio Duero.
Pyvovarenko, who won the bronze medal in the 2022 Russian Youth League with Lokomotiv, also has to explain why he agreed to play in Russia after the occupation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. It's worth noting that the Kharkiv resident was 17 years old at the time.
"That was two years ago. In Ukraine, the season ended very early due to the pandemic. We had nowhere to train, let alone play. I was looking for a place where I could continue to play volleyball and not lose my form. At that moment, I had an option with Novosibirsk. I was invited by a very strong professional club," the athlete told Sport.ua.
Danylo said he understood that it was not a good idea to go to Russia, but the desire to play at a high level outweighed him at that moment. Instead, leaving Russia after the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine turned out to be a problem.
"I wanted to leave Russia as early as February 24, but I was held back by my contract. I couldn't just leave. I started consulting with my dad. With his help, they tried to break the contract. But it turned out to be a difficult task. The negotiations lasted for over a month and eventually reached a dead end," Daniil admitted.
"Back then, my father secretly took me to Turkey through some volleyball players he knew. We got out late at night. I'm even afraid to imagine what would have happened if I had been caught at the border. But everything worked out. I am very glad that I was able to leave Russia. I'm grateful to the International Volleyball Federation, which met me halfway and gave me a transfer. Thanks to this, I was able to continue my career in Europe," the Ukrainian added.
Fans had big claims against Pyvovarenko because of his photo shoot in the SPA centre of Novosibirsk at the end of March 2022, when his native Kharkiv was under fire from all available weapons.
"We had contractual obligations to a spa that sponsored the team. After one of the training sessions, we went there for a photo shoot and to shoot a commercial. The contract stipulated that we were obliged to post promotional posts about our sponsors on our own Instagram pages," explains Danylo, who had just turned 18 at the time.
It is worth noting that the volleyball player has deleted all photos and videos related to Lokomotiv and his stay in Novosibirsk from his social media accounts.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL reported that the young volleyball player died in Donbas while fighting as part of a heroic brigade. Together with his comrades, he held off the occupiers near Maryinka.
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