Ukrainian Boxing Champion Dies Defending His Country Against Russia

Ukrainian Boxing Champion Dies Defending His Country Against Russia

By Daily Mail Online on May 25, 2022
Volodymyr Zelensky
President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky

A two-time Ukrainian boxing champion has tragically died defending his country while fighting against Russia on the frontline.

Oleg Prudky, 30 – among a series of boxers who took up arms after Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade the country – was in the police force as part of special forces working alongside authorities in the region of Cherkasy for the last three months.

Previously though he competed in the 2015 World Series of Boxing competition – a now defunct tournament which allowed amateur boxers to compete professionally while maintaining amateur status – for Ukrainian Otamans.

He took part in a series of worldwide amateur tournaments for his country in the super-lightweight category, including at several European championships.

But he was among four members of the Cherkasy Police troops killed in an attack by Russian forces on Sunday, and leaves behind wife Mariana and two young daughters.

A translation of a Cherkasy Boxing Federation tribute post tragically read: ‘Another tragedy in our boxing family. One of the best boxers of Cherkasy region, Oleg Prudky, died in the East…

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‘The boxing family of Cherkasy region expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends. Rest in peace!’

The Ukrainian Boxing Federation meanwhile added: ‘We are sad to announce that the master of sports of international boxing class, champion of Ukraine Oleg Prudky, died in battles with the Russian occupiers.

‘The Boxing Federation of Ukraine expresses its condolences to the boxer’s family! Eternal memory to you Oleg.’

Cherkasy Boxing Federation president Serhiy Tyshchenko was later quoted as saying: ‘I remember now how your coach told you how eager you were to do boxing and cycling for tens of kilometres to get to training.

‘I remember how we supported you at the competitions of ‘Ukrainian Otamans’, then a whole bus from Cherkasy came to support you and you won!

‘Everyone remembers your incredible fights. You are the first in the history of Cherkasy boxing to win gold in the 60kg weight category.

‘Oleg was a two-time champion of Ukraine and a master of sports of international class.

‘Your victories and achievements are hard to count, you were a very persistent and hard-working athlete, you trained a lot. You have been a worthy example for future generations.

‘It is very difficult to accept such news every day – an irreparable loss for our boxing family. I express my sincere condolences to the boxer’s family.

‘Cursed war takes away the best sons of Ukraine! Eternal memory, rest in peace friend! Heroes do not die!’

Prudky brought his amateur career to an end in 2015 with a 17-14 record, which included a 12-fight winning run from September 2013 until January 2015.

The Cherkasy Police on Sunday however announced the death of the four officers in a statement which read: ‘They defended Ukraine – the dead police heroes of Cherkasy region.

‘On May 22, defending the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, our colleagues, police officers of the Special Operations Department of the KORD Department of the Main Directorate of the National Police, were killed.

‘There are no words to convey the pain, the despair over the irreparable loss.

‘We bow our heads and bow low to their parents. In our memory, they will remain honest and principled people, good friends and reliable colleagues.

‘We express our deepest condolences to their relatives and friends. We remember, we miss you. Bright memory.’

Prudky’s wife Mariana also made an emotional tribute on Instagram, posting a number of images of him captioned with: ‘War – it takes away the best. I don’t believe, I don’t believe that you are no more.

‘What I will not hear – Good morning darling! I’m fine! How are the girls? And the most important thing is that you will never tell me again – I LOVE you.

‘You were like a bright sun, an example for your children, who adore you so much and ask you every time, and when dad comes.

‘How can I tell them that they will never see you again?

‘You were an example for your friends and colleagues. You are my ANGEL. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH.’

Prudky however is not the only renowned athlete in the world of Ukrainian sport to be fighting for his country on the frontline.

Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk enrolled in the Kyiv Territorial Defense in February but the 35-year-old has since left Ukraine to prepare for his world title rematch against Anthony Joshua.

But Usyk confirmed last month he will use the high-profile fight with Joshua to raise funds for his charity, Usyk Foundation, to help Ukraine with a collection of 2,000 non-fungible tokens.

Meanwhile, three-weight boxing world champion Vasyl Lomachenko also signed up in a Ukrainian territorial army, and has chosen to continue protecting his country rather than boxing George Kambosos Jr for unified titles.

Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov was meanwhile scheduled to fight Michael Page in London earlier this month, but withdrew because of the ongoing conflict back home.

Wladimir and Vitaly Klitschko have joined the fight too, with the former enrolling in Kyiv’s Territorial Defence in response to Putin’s assault while the latter is mayor of the city.

Wladimir last month suggested he could make a sensational return to professional boxing after watching Tyson Fury beat Dillian Whyte – but only when the war in Ukraine is over and there is no Russian threat.

‘I also learned that despite the war, you shouldn’t forget life. Sport is part of my life. I’m delighted that Tyson Fury won,’ he said.

‘Who knows, I don’t want to promise anything big here, but if I’m in good shape and, above all, that the war in Ukraine will soon come to an end, and that our Borders exist without any invasion coming from Russia, then in the end who knows?’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a third month and represents the biggest attack on a European state since 1945.

It has seen more than 6.5million people flee abroad, turning entire cities into rubble, and provoking the West to react with unprecedented sanctions on Russia.

The news of Prudky’s death comes with top-ranking Russian officials said to be plotting a government without Putin.

Kremlin sources claimed the Russian President has turned almost everybody against him amid the invasion.

A government source told Russian-Latvian outlet Meduza ‘there are almost no people who are satisfied with Putin’ among Kremlin officials and Russian elites.

‘Businessmen and many members of the government are unhappy that the president started the war without thinking about the scale of the sanctions – it is impossible to live with such sanctions,’ the source said – a sentiment which was later corroborated by two other government insiders.

 The problems [in Russia due to the war] are already visible, and by midsummer they will come from different directions: transport, medicine, even agriculture. No one simply thought of such a scale,’ Meduza’s interlocutor close to the government explained.

The revelation comes as Kyiv’s spy chief claimed Putin had escaped an assassination attempt around one month into the war, and declared the Russian leader’s isolation is a preventative measure borne from a deep mistrust of his subordinates.

Putin’s policy of constant isolation comes even as his health continues to deteriorate according to a Russian Telegram channel which claims to have sources inside the Kremlin.

The Russian leader underwent ‘successful’ cancer surgery last week and is recovering following advice from medics that treatment was ‘essential’, according to Telegram channel General SVR.

The news emerged just hours before Putin appeared on state TV meeting with ally Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi, when he was caught on camera awkwardly twisting his feet while the pair sat down for talks.

Source: Daily Mail

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