On the top of Mount Everest, the Ukrainian Antonina Samojlowa (33) made an appeal for help to the world. As the climber reported to the AFP news agency on Wednesday, she climbed the highest mountain in the world with the flag of her home country in hand.
When she spread them out on the summit, tears welled up in her eyes, Samoylova said. The 33-year-old’s father and brother are fighting Russian troops in their home country.
“Stand with Ukraine,” translated as “Stand by Ukraine,” read the blue and yellow flag that Samoylova held aloft on Mount Everest.
Father and brother volunteered
Global attention to her country is dwindling, the alpinist told AFP after returning to Kathmandu. “It’s not good for us Ukrainians because we need more help. We need the whole world to help us.”
Samoylova was on the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s highest mountain, when she learned of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to her own account, she received the first information about the war from her sister, who had sought protection in an air raid shelter in Kyiv.
Her father and brother volunteered for the Ukrainian army, says Samoylowa. Before she climbed Mount Everest, she had not had any contact with them for days. In the meantime, however, she has learned that it had recently been quiet in the region of the two. “I thought: ‘Phew, thank God!'” says the climber.
Planned visit to Ukraine
Samojlowa has set herself the goal of climbing the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Before climbing Mount Everest, she already scaled Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus and Mount Vinson in Antarctica.
Before she continues her climbing tour, Samojlowa wants to travel to Croatia, where her sister and nephew have found refuge. Afterwards she wants to visit her father and brother in the Ukraine. “I just want to hug her,” she said. (AFP/jmh)