Denis Boreiko was killed at the front during the fight against the Russian invaders. The 34-year-old was once the world and European junior fencing champion.
Denis Borejko was killed at the front during the fight against the Russian invaders. The 34-year-old was once the world and European junior fencing champion. After the Russian aggression, he joined the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces as a volunteer.
The Ukrainian Fencing Federation reported that Borejko was killed on July 3. His funeral was held on Thursday, July 13. Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, announced his death.
“Denis was a world champion and European champion among juniors, as well as a master of sports of international class,” Gerashchenko wrote on Twitter.
“From the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion in February (2022), Denis helped the Ukrainian military and territorial defense of the Dnieper, and in March 2022 he voluntarily joined the Ukrainian armed forces,” added the minister's adviser.
The tragic death of Borejko will further increase tensions in fencing. The March ruling by the International Fencing Federation that Russian and Belarusian fencers could return to competition as neutral caused a split among the federations and contributed to the cancellation of many events in Europe.
Last week it was confirmed that Ukrainian fencers would boycott the individual competitions at the world championships, which will be held in Milan (July 22-25), in which athletes from Russia and Belarus will take part.
Last month, as proposed by Ukraine, all fencers from Russia and Belarus were banned from participating in European Fencing Confederation (EFC) competitions.
The president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, a four-time Olympic champion, was removed from his position as EFC president last year after the invasion of Ukraine.
According to an April update provided by the sports minister and chairman of the National Olympic Committee, Vadim Gutzeit, 262 Ukrainian athletes were killed during the war and 363 sports facilities were destroyed.