Athletes for Freedom Foundation

We are a coalition of athletes, business leaders, and social advocates united by a common belief: efforts for freedom and social change must encompass all aspects of life, including sports and beyond. We react to global crises and catastrophes, providing help and assistance to those in need, demonstrating our dedication to justice and equality on a broader scale.

The Athletes for Freedom Foundation provides crucial financial support to individuals worldwide, empowering them to express their social stances with authenticity and courage. By opposing violence, resisting oppression, and championing freedom, these advocates become true beacons of hope and change. Together, we harness the spirit of resilience to create a better, freer world.

Athletes for Freedom Foundation is recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the IRS. This status ensures that all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Our Mission

Global Support:

The Athletes for Freedom Foundation (AFF) is dedicated to the global support of individuals who face persecution and oppression for their social stance. Whether you are a World Champion, an Olympic Champion, a local school champion, or a kindergarten coach – if you are a champion of freedom, we stand with you. Our commitment extends beyond the realm of sports, reaching anyone who defends justice and human rights, as well as providing a wide range of assistance to those affected by global crises, disasters, and catastrophes.

AFF responds to local and individual cases as well as global disasters. We provide help and assistance to those in need during large-scale humanitarian crises, ensuring our mission extends beyond sports to offer support wherever it is needed. By addressing global crises and catastrophes, we embody our commitment to fostering a society rooted in respect, dignity, and equal opportunity for all.

Non-Discrimination and Equality:

The Athletes for Freedom Foundation is committed to opposing all forms of discrimination in both sports and social life. We actively promote equality and social equity, ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to thrive. Our foundation champions inclusivity and works tirelessly to create a world where fairness and justice prevail, both on and off the field. We fully support all athletes, regardless of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, self-identification, religion, or any other characteristic. Everyone is equal and free.


Our Foundation is committed to funding and supporting not only athletes and coaches but also other advocates of justice who have made significant personal sacrifices. These individuals stand against dictatorship, violence, discrimination, and the suppression of free speech and personal freedoms. We extend our commitment to those affected by global crises and disasters, providing assistance and advocacy to all who fight for justice.

Respect and Support:

The Athletes for Freedom Foundation opposes all forms of discrimination in both sports and social life. We actively promote equality and social equity, ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to thrive. Our foundation champions inclusivity and works tirelessly to create a world where fairness and justice prevail, both on and off the field, extending our support to those affected by global disasters and catastrophes.

Our Advisory Board

Meet the people advising our organization

Alex Apeikin

A political scientist with a solid background in professional handball as the founder of the Vityaz Handball Club (Minsk, Belarus), Aliaksandr also represented the EHF Champions League as a Marketing Supervisor. In August 2020, following the mass repression in Belarus that affected the entire nation, he established the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation and became its CEO. As a Senior Advisor to the Athletes for Freedom Foundation, he continues to promote the goal of assisting athletes with an active social stance on the international stage.

Aliaksandr Apeikin is a dedicated advocate for the integrity and development of sports. He formerly served as the Development Director for the Ukrainian Athletics Federation, where he focused on enhancing the infrastructure and opportunities for athletes across Ukraine.

With his extensive experience and commitment, Aliaksandr plays a crucial role in promoting fair play and supporting athletes in their pursuit of excellence, as well as building processes within the organization.

Dmitri Dubograev, Esq.

Dmitri Dubograev, Esq., is a distinguished attorney with over 25 years of experience representing clients in the technology, entertainment, and sports industries. As the Founder and CEO of femida.us, Dmitri has built a reputation for his exceptional legal expertise and strategic acumen. With a background in athletics, he is also a co-founder of the Athletes for Freedom Foundation, where his commitment to justice and freedom is reflected in his work supporting persecuted athletes.

Dmitri’s career is marked by a dedication to excellence and a deep understanding of the complex legal landscapes his clients navigate. His extensive experience and unwavering commitment make him a trusted advisor and advocate, ensuring his clients’ interests are protected and their goals achieved.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya

Originally from Belarus, Krystsina is a successful Olympian and a multiple-time medal winner at different competitions. Following repression by the Lukashenko regime during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, she fled the country and now represents Poland in track and field athletics. She helped her new team achieve its historically best result in the 2023 World Championships. Krystsina is an advocate for human rights and freedoms.

Krystsina is set to compete for Poland at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, embodying the spirit of resilience and the pursuit of excellence. Her journey is a testament to her strength and dedication to both her sport and her principles.

Andrei Krauchanka

Andrei Krauchanka is a celebrated Belarusian athlete, renowned for his prowess in decathlon and heptathlon. He won a silver medal in decathlon at the 2008 Olympic Games and two World Championship silver medals, and he is a European champion in both disciplines. An Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus, Andrei is also a dedicated activist with the Free Association of Athletes of Belarus (SOS BY). Following the 2020 protests in Belarus, Andrei faced severe repression for his outspoken stance against the government. This forced him to flee his homeland, but he remains committed to advocating for freedom and human rights. His journey is a testament to his courage and dedication to justice.

Scott Goodstein

Scott Goodstein, an experienced strategist, has been at the forefront of digital communications for over 20 years. He built the first social media and mobile campaign for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and led the development of Bernie Sanders’s digital strategy in 2016. Skilled in mobile advertising, political science, grassroots organizing, and mobile communications, Scott has a demonstrated history of success in public relations and political communications. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) focused on Business & Human Relations from American University. A staunch supporter of human rights, democracy, and freedom worldwide, Scott has since re-launched Catalyst Campaigns to evolve strategies for the next generation of digital engagement.

Andrey Morozov

Andrey Morozov is a seasoned sports journalist and editor-in-chief at prestigious media outlets, excelling in the professional sports arena. His multifaceted career includes roles as a TV presenter, documentary filmmaker, and high-level fencer, demonstrating his deep passion for sports. Beyond his professional achievements, Andrey is a staunch advocate for democratic values and the sacred right to free speech. His unwavering commitment to these principles underscores his dedication to using sports as a platform for promoting freedom and justice.

Andrei Chepa

Andrei Chepa is a seasoned lawyer with over 15 years of experience working with various companies, including Summit Systems Inc. His multifaceted career in sports administration includes roles such as Chief Editor of the ABFF newspaper, Head of the Press Office of ABFF, Press Attaché of the National Football Team of Belarus, and Head of the Referee’s and Observer’s Department of ABFF.

In a courageous stand for justice, Andrei resigned from his positions in protest against the fraudulent elections and the ensuing violence by the Belarusian regime. His principled decision underscores his dedication to integrity, democracy, and human rights, marking him as a significant figure in the fight for freedom and fair governance.

Konstantin Yakovlev

Konstantin Yakovlev is a former professional handball player who has made a significant impact both on and off the court. Throughout his sports career, Yakovlev was known for his exceptional skills, leadership, and sportsmanship. After retiring from professional handball, he channeled his energy and influence into advocating for human rights. His dedication to this cause has made him a respected figure in the human rights community, where he works tirelessly to promote equality, justice, and the protection of fundamental freedoms. Yakovlev’s journey from athlete to advocate highlights his commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

Our Team

The people who make the AFF happen

Alex Apeikin

Development Director (Board Director)

Alex Apeikin is an experienced executive with extensive expertise in managing and marketing diverse sports projects across Europe, having led the sponsorship strategy for the 2nd European Games 2019 and marketing operations at the European Handball Federation. He also leads strategic initiatives for organizations like the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation and the Ukrainian Athletic Federation, and participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program on NGO management by the U.S. Department of State in June 2023. With a solid foundation in international relations and project management, Alex continues to make significant contributions to the sports industry.

Art Balenok

Creative Director | Media Producer

Art, hailing from Ireland, serves as the Creative Director for the Athletes for Freedom Foundation, bringing over 20 years of experience in creative, media, and professional sports fields. Since August 2020, he has led creative, media, and marketing strategies for the Athletes for Freedom Foundation and the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation. His role as Marketing Director for the Ukrainian Athletics Federation involved developing market strategies, managing budgets, and enhancing brand implementation. Art’s previous positions include Senior Product Manager at Sportradar GmbH and TV Presenter at Setanta Sports TV, where he significantly boosted the brand’s social media presence. Besides, he worked with multimillion dollar contracts for 10 years in the inflight entertainment industry. Additionally, he has extensive freelance experience in producing media content and cross-genre music. He is an avid ice hockey player, a fan of motorsports, and an advocate for human rights and freedom. His experience is invaluable for the AFF.

Valerie Schäfer

Social Media Executive

Valerie is responsible for creating comprehensive social media strategies and designing organized content plans to ensure consistent and engaging posts. She conducts thorough audits of social media accounts to identify areas for improvement and develops creative assets, writing compelling copy for targeted advertisements. Additionally, Valerie calculates and analyzes social media statistics to measure performance and inform future strategies. She also handles the production and editing of photo and video content to enhance the organization’s social media presence.

Anatol Kotau

Director of International Relations

Mr. Kotau is a seasoned diplomat and executive with a wealth of experience in foreign policy and sports administration. From 2002 to 2010, he served as the Second Secretary of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and at the Embassy of Belarus in Poland. Between 2010 and 2014, he was a Senior Advisor on Foreign Policy, providing strategic insights and guidance. From 2015 to 2017, Anatol held the position of Secretary General at the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, where he played a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s direction. He then served as the Deputy CEO of the II European Games 2019, contributing significantly to the event’s success.

Alina Shukh

Project Manager

Alina Shukh is a distinguished leader in sports management and financial literacy, known for her prowess both in the office and on the field as a former World and European Champion in track and field. She is also celebrated as a World Junior Record Holder in the pentathlon. Alina holds an MBA with a specialization in Sports Business from the University of Oregon, Lundquist College of Business, enhancing her deep understanding of sports management dynamics. Currently the Chief Operating Officer at Smart Family Office, she has significantly contributed to the Ukrainian Athletic Federation by enhancing athlete support and securing major sponsorships. Her commitment to sports is further demonstrated through her development of educational programs for athletes and her role as a sports finance educator at the National University of Ukraine of PE and Sports. Alina’s championship experience and academic credentials bring invaluable insights to her professional endeavors and public engagements across Europe.

Olena Dychuk

Brand Manager

Olena Dychuk is an experienced designer with extensive experience in UX/UI design and brand management. Her role at AFF is to lead brand strategy initiatives, optimize user experience, and ensure brand consistency across all platforms. With a strong background in user-centered design, she has successfully managed and enhanced the visual and functional aspects of numerous projects, ensuring cohesive and engaging brand narratives.

How you can help

You can help people who continue to fight for freedom

Share the information

  • Tell your friends about the foundation’s initiatives and share information about the fund’s fundraising on social media. It doesn’t matter how active you are online, or how many virtual friends you have — even one person who sees a post can help those in urgent need.
  • If you are a journalist or want to prepare a story, you can always ask our staff for comments by writing to our feedback form.
  • To learn more about the activities of the foundation and the running fees and you can in our accounts in social networks:


  • We are convinced that charity is not just about three-zero sums. Any help is a huge contribution to our common cause.
  • Donating to the Foundation makes it possible to help people affected by the actions of the regime: political prisoners and their families, those who were forced to leave their homes. Support activists, civic initiatives, support Belarusian volunteers in Ukraine and many others.
  • All funds raised by “Athletes for Freedom Foundation” are donated to help those affected. “Athletes for Freedom Foundation” does not charge a fee or withhold funds for operating expenses.
  • The fee is withheld by the payment processor (up to 3% of the collection amount). We build this percentage into the stated amount if one opens a private fundraisers.
  • Staff salaries are generated from institutional funds raised and tips that you can leave when you send a donation. This is a voluntary option. You can also support the work of the “Athletes for Freedom Foundation” team by making a donation online.

Donations platform

  • Our platform allows you to donate small amounts — but regularly. You can write or receive private messages, which are always welcome.
  • We are grateful to each and every person and — for every donation. But we know that the potential for this support is much greater. We want to increase dues so we can help more. We want to be in touch with you.
  • We welcome you to choose the level of support that suits you — and supports our cause. You can choose what your donation will be used for. Join the Athletes for Freedom Foundation community!

How to contact our foundation?

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Feedback form

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