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Ukraine gold medalist, 22, warns Putin’s forces they ‘will have no chance’

Olympic star shooter eyeing Moscow troops: Ukraine gold medalist, 22, warns Putin’s forces they ‘will have no chance’

  • Kristina Dmitrenko, 22, won gold in biathlon at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games
  • The sport combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting so she “shoots well”
  • She now serves in the Ukrainian National Guard to protect her homeland
  • The young woman now uses a machine gun and says: “I am not afraid of the enemy”

She is an Olympic gold marksman.

But now Ukrainian sports star Kristina Dmitrenko is training to hit a very different target after joining the war effort against Russia.

And the 22-year-old doesn’t appear to be afraid of invading troops, warning Vladimir Putin’s troops: “I shoot well.”

Ms Dmitrenko won gold at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in biathlon – a sport that combines cross-country skiing and air rifle shooting.

On the front lines: Kristina Dmitrenko, 22, now serves with the Ukrainian National Guard

On the front lines: Kristina Dmitrenko, 22, now serves with the Ukrainian National Guard

The biathlete from the northern city of Chernihiv was preparing for an international competition in Italy when war broke out in Ukraine this year.

Now she serves in the Ukrainian National Guard to protect her homeland.

“I never in my life thought it would be like this. Nobody can imagine that,” she said.

“I shoot well so the invaders don’t stand a chance.

Even if I temporarily swap my biathlon rifle for a machine gun, whatever weapon I get my hands on, I’ll see it through to the end. Victory will surely be ours.”

Before the start of the war, Ms. Dmitrenko had traveled to a training camp in the Carpathian Mountains with the junior national team.

Champion: The biathlete competing in 2017

Champion: The biathlete competing in 2017

But on February 24, she woke up to the news from a friend that her home country had been invaded.

“Friends from Chernihiv and Kyiv sent pictures of the horror they endured,” Ms. Dmitrenko said.

“But I’m not afraid of the enemy.”

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Bradford Betz

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