“If my time comes to fight I will fight”

Former UArizona Wildcat Kyryl Natyazhko is fighting for his home country, Ukraine
KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 9:06 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -In 2010, Kyryl Natyazhko was putting up shots in McKale Center at the University of Arizona. Today, he spoke to us from an apartment in war torn Ukraine– his home country.

“Just now, they [The Russian military] bombed Kyiv again,” said Natyazhko. “Now, we dont think like regular people, we used to think like you before, but now I can even figure what kind of bomb it is I know what kind of rocket it is.”

To say life has changed for the former Arizona basketball star would be an understatement.

“I think all humans are made up that you can get used to anything,” said Natyazhko. “On the first days sirens would go off everybody would hide now, you see the babies outside sirens going off.”

When those once fear-inducing sirens rang out– Natyazhko and his family chose not to flee to safety but instead to stay.

“My wife and my young son they’re in Ukraine,” said Natyazhko. “We had plenty of opportunity to leave, but it’s hard to leave something that is your soul you can not leave your mind.”

Natyazhko has not joined the Ukrainian army, instead he has taken on a liaison role.

“I try to connect with humanitarian staff and staff for military,” said Natyazhko.

Through donations, he and a friend are supplying soldiers on the front lines by hand delivering them everything from cars and trucks to toiletries.

“We dont shake hands and bye bye we run we help people who need it,” said Natyazhko

He says he will keep helping until it is no longer needed.

Natyazhko is hopeful life will return to normal soon.

“We hope for the best but you never know how this works out,” said Natyazhko. “We are ready to fight listen if my time comes to fight i will fight .”

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