UAF President Andrei Pavelko said that football referee Dmitry Kubryak, who was held captive by the Russians, is now free.
“Football referee and brave neurosurgeon Dmitry Kubryak was released from the captivity of the Rashists! Together with other Heroes-Defenders of Mariupol, among whom there are football ultras from various Ukrainian clubs, and their military leaders Denis Prokopenko (“Radish”), Sergey Volynsky (“Volyn”) ) and Svyatoslav Palamar (“Kalina”).
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We met with Dmitry, who previously worked at PFL matches, at the end of March in the hospital of the Dnieper, where he operated on our wounded soldiers. Soon, despite the huge risk, he left with a group of other doctors to the city of Hero Mariupol, surrounded by the Russian horde, in order to save his Heroes-Defenders. Where he was captured by the invaders. These were 5 months of very difficult trials for Dmitry, who was in the notorious Yelenovka, and during which we believed, worried, prayed, supported Dmitry’s family and looked for opportunities for his release.
Recently, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin spoke about the possibilities for the release of our athletes from captivity of the occupiers in a telephone conversation. Alexander at that time was in Croatia, where we discussed the importance of resolving this issue as part of the work of the UEFA Executive Committee. And now, thanks to our prayers, the efforts of the military and the leadership of the state, Dmitry was released from captivity. It was an honor and an extremely pleasant mission for me to inform personally the wife of our Hero – Natalya, as well as his son and mother.
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During a conversation with Dmitry, he expressed admiration for his heroism and endurance. He also promised him that he would definitely receive an appointment at the match and be able to continue his refereeing career in Ukraine at the highest level. After all, the Hero, who saved many lives of our soldiers and himself withstood so many trials, is a symbol of disobedience! He is an incredibly inspiring example for his fellow referees, for the footballers whose matches he will work for, and for the entire Ukrainian football family! I believe that over time Dmitry will work at international matches.
Congratulations to Dmitry and his entire family on their release and return home! First of all, thanks to Head of State Volodymyr Zelensky, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and everyone who helped free our Heroes! Glory to the heroes! Glory to the APU! Glory to Ukraine!” Pavelko wrote on his Facebook.