Elina Svitolina issues emotional plea to new UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer for continued aid to Ukraine

Elina Svitolina thanks the crowd
Elina Svitolina gestures to the crowd after her match

Elina Svitolina used her time in front of the media at Wimbledon following her quarter-final loss to Elena Rybakina to issue an impassioned plea on behalf of her compatriots in Ukraine calling for continued support for her nation in its efforts to withstand a Russian invasion.

Svitolina fears that the world’s attention is slipping away from the struggle of her people.

She appealed to Labour leader Starmer to continue to offer material support to Ukraine in the form of military and humanitarian aid.

“I hope he’s aware with the help we got before, from the government before,” Svitolina said.

“I hope this will continue because it’s really, really important for us.

“Every day is not getting easy. It’s not getting easier, it’s getting really tougher and tougher for us. Hopefully the support will continue. I feel like we got unbelievable support before, and I hope this will continue really because it’s super important for us.”

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Ahead of her Round of 16 match against Wang Xinyu, Svitolina had heard the news that 20 Ukranians had been killed in a missile attack on Kiev.

“Incredibly sad day today for all Ukrainians,” she said earlier this week.

“It was really difficult for me to really be here in a way and do anything. I just wanted to be in my room, just be there with my emotions, with everything.

“When you have these sad days where you don’t want to do anything, it was this kind of day for me. It’s difficult really to explain because of course for us Ukrainians it’s very close to our heart and very sensitive topic, very sensitive emotions that we feel every single day.

“But today was one of the days where it was even more difficult because the missile landed on the hospital, the kids’ hospital. Straightaway you see the images and everything that happened there. So many kids lost their lives.

“Yeah, it’s an extremely tough day today. Every Ukrainian is using their own way to raise awareness, to raise money, to help in every possible way they can.

“My way is through tennis. This what’s really motivated me today to do something. I tried to be focused on my job, tried to be focused on what I can control. Just do what I can in a way.

“I’m playing, of course, such an amazing event as Wimbledon. I have to also think about how I can use that in a way for Ukrainian people.

“At least with my win today, it was a small light that brought a happy moment for Ukrainian people. I got so many messages today. The people are thankful for my performance.”