Hayden Panettiere recently shared that her seven-year-old daughter Kaya, who is based in Ukraine with her father, Wladimir Klitschko, is “safe” and currently not in the country amidst the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The Heroes star recently took to Instagram to speak about the crisis and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for his attack on Ukraine. The actress also praised the strength of the Ukrainians who fight for independence and continue to defend their country.
Panettiere further offered her prayers for her family, friends and others in Ukraine and asked her followers to show their support and solidarity for democracy.
In response to her post, a concerned fan asked the actress about her daughter's well-being. Panettiere then replied:
“She’s safe and not in Ukraine.”
However, The Daily Mail reported that Klitschko continues to be in Ukraine with his brother Vitali, who serves as the mayor of Kyiv.
The former boxer also shared the call for democracy on Instagram and denounced Russia's actions.
A look into Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko’s custody battle
Hayden Panettiere reportedly met Wladimir Klitschko at a book launch party in 2009 and started dating shortly after. The duo initially parted ways in 2011 due to the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship, but continued to remain friends.
However, the couple reconciled in 2013 and also got engaged the same year. The pair welcomed their daughter Kaya in 2014. However, the couple parted ways in 2018 and Klitschko received full custody of their daughter amidst the former’s mental health struggles.
In 2015, Panettiere opened up about suffering from postpartum depression following her daughter’s birth. During an appearance on the Live with Kelly and Michael podcast, the actress mentioned that she failed to cater to her newborn child’s needs due to her mental health issues.
"When they tell you about postpartum depression, you think about, 'OK, I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure my child, I want to hurt my child... I've never ever had those feelings, and some women do."
The Nashville star also enrolled herself in a rehabilitation center in October 2015, less than a year after Kaya’s birth. Additionally, she also returned to work to restart her Hollywood career. Panettiere reportedly checked into the facility for the second time in 2016.
Meanwhile, Klitschko continued to serve as Kaya’s primarily caregiver. During a 2015 interview with Page Six, the former heavyweight boxing champion said he changed the child’s diapers, cut her nails, gave her baths and played the role of “mother and father at the same time.”
Reports suggest that during Klitschko and Panettiere’s separation, the latter “wanted” her ex to take custody of their daughter. She even agreed to the arrangement when Klitschko moved to Ukraine with Kaya and continued to maintain an amicable relationship with her former fiancé.
Following her separation from the boxer, Panettiere started dating Brian Hickerson in 2018. However, Klitschko did not approve of Hickerson’s presence around his daughter after the latter was arrested in 2019 for alleged domestic violence against the actress.
In 2019, a source told The Daily Mail that Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko’s parenting arrangement was “challenging”:
"It's heartbreaking and challenging... they didn't spend the holidays together. It's disturbing, and she'll have to figure out how to manage this. It's not an easy scenario."
However, another source told Metro that same year:
"Hayden and Wladimir are on great terms and friendly. They are a big part of each other’s lives and will continue to be. Hayden is back in Los Angeles and figuring out what’s next."
Although Panettiere and Klitschko have never had any major fallout over their daughter’s custody, it is not known how often the former sees her daughter.
However, as the former pair are well-acquainted with traveling and share a good bond despite their split, it is quite likely that the duo has a favorable parenting arrangement for Kaya.