Odesalainen Oksana Rusnachenko passaa Puijossa seuraavankin kauden


Hi Oksana! What’s up?

I am fine thanks, I am happy about our victories last weekend against Arctic Volley and now we are preparing for our next game on Sunday with Vampula.

This is going to be mostly about volleyball, but I guess you understand that I have to ask about the war. How do you keep yourself concentrated with all the news from Ukraine?

Yes of course, I understand. Honestly it’s very hard, it’s 11 months of full-scale Russian invasion and unfortunately it’s not possible to finish the war in the near future. And the feeling of fear that any time missile can fly to my home and I can lose my family is terrifying.

Or just to see the news all the time about how many civilians died, how many Ukrainian heroes are dying right now for our freedom and for all democratic and civilized world.

It’s just unbelievable that it’s happening in 2023

It is!

And just thinking, if we can’t stop that kind of sick nation, what kind of future will wait the whole world after this.

It really makes you sad. I guess most of us Finns try to be supportive, but what’s the best way to be supportive towards you and other Ukranians in Finland?

Yes, I really appreciate that a lot of countries support Ukraine! And I am thankful to Finland for the support. I just met people on the streets who were kind and empathized. It means a lot for all Ukrainians.

It’s not easy to be a refugee and it helps a lot when people are kind and warm.

Maybe if somebody has an opportunity to donate money for Ukrainian army it would be huge support too.

I guess you know that you’re somewhat of a fan favourite in Kuopio and you already signed a contract for the next season before Chrismas! How did that happen so quickly?

Yes, it happened so fast, I wasn’t expecting that either! But I’m happy that Puijo family invited me for the next season. There is really good atmosphere in our club, all members of the team are so friendly and professional! And we are doing great job together enjoying our favourite game - volleyball.

You’re a setter - the key to the offensive game! What do you consider your strengths in that role?

Yes it’s a hard role on the court! I am trying to do my job best I can; to see which player is in the best position at a specific moment to give her opportunity to score the point! And of course reading the game of our opponents, how they block us, where is the weaker blocker and so on…

Cool! Have you always been a setter, or did you play other positions before?

I’ve played other positions too, I was outside hitter and many years ago even a libero for a while!

Well, we’re glad you became a setter! You’re also internationally experienced; how was your road to Kuopio and Puijo?

Kiitos! :D I played Baltic league in Lithuania and I was also studying there in the university. Then I played in France, but it was the worst Covid year, so everything was cancelled! After that I went to Kazakhstan and Greece. The level of their volleyball league was really good!

How do you spend your free time here? I guess you read a LOT of news from home, but you have to do something else too?

Yes, I am checking news all the time, it’s true! A week ago we tried real finish sauna and dipped in the frozen lake! It was amazing feeling! Very fresh and full of energy afterwards.

I have to confess, that it feels horrible! However afterwards it feels kinda nice. But you’re from Odessa? I haven’t been there but it looks like a very beautiful city!

Yes, Odesa is a beautiful city near the seaside of Black Sea, with a population of 1 million and with nice architecture.

We use OdeSa with one “s“, cause if it’s translated to Ukrainian language it’s Одеса. In Russia it’s Одесса and we don’t use that.

Thanks for the information! How did you end up playing volleyball? Were you involved in other sports as a youth?

My mother was playing volleyball when she was young, so she brought me to the volleyball school. At school we played many games for fun, but I didn’t try other sports. I was going to the drawing school, but didn’t do other sports! :D

Hey, Oksi, huge thanks for the interview! What are you up to for the rest of the evening?

Thanks to you! Oh, and  I am going to the practice after.

One more thing, as always: Slava Ukraini! 

Heroyam Slava!

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Teksti: Antti Hirsaho

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