21:38 24 Jun 2024

Russia has killed 479 Ukrainian athletes and coaches, including world champions and Olympic participants, since beginning of the war

Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine

On June 24, 2024, the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine held a press conference on the topic "War crimes of Russia and losses of Ukrainian sports."

The Ministry of Youth and Sports reported that.

At the event, the Ministry of Youth and Sports' head, Matviy Bidnyi, stated that the Russians have taken the lives of 479 Ukrainian athletes and coaches since the start of the war. Among them were world and European champions and individuals who had competed in the Olympics. Additionally, many athletes have been left with permanent disabilities as a result of Russia's aggressive actions.

"Each athlete killed by Russia is a tragedy for the entire sports family. These crimes are not only a blow to our sport but also an attempt by the aggressor to strike at our national identity," Matviy Bidnyi emphasized.

Oleksandr Krykun, vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, noted that Russia is systematically destroying the sports infrastructure of Ukraine. He noted that the Russians damaged and destroyed 518 sports facilities, including 15 Olympic training bases.

"These facilities were the training grounds of the most successful Ukrainian athletes," Krykun said.

According to First Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Khomenko, all of these offenses fall under the category of war crimes as defined in Article 438 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. As the war continues, over 160,000 instances of destroyed civilian infrastructure have been recorded. The identities of 48 Russian military members responsible for indiscriminate shelling have already been uncovered.

Oleksiy Khomenko emphasized that currently, there is evidence of only a part of the atrocities that the enemy committed and continues to commit during the occupation of Ukrainian territories.

"We will be able to assess the full scale of the enemy's crimes only after the liberation of the entire territory of our country. We are already investigating the crimes that we know about and are cooperating with international partners to punish Russia using international justice mechanisms," the First Deputy Prosecutor General said.

The participants of the press conference called on the international community to support Ukraine and condemn Russia's crimes. They emphasized that the victory of Ukraine would be the victory of the entire civilized world.

For reference:

The Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports has compiled a list of athletes from Russia and Belarus who are vocal supporters of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped to negotiate a ceasefire in the world's main conflicts by the time of the Summer Olympics and was counting on the support of various partners, including the leader of China.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, didn't believe in the possibility of implementing Macron's idea of a ceasefire in Ukraine. He noted that Russia would use such a pause to regroup and attract additional forces to "destroy us."

On May 17, at a press conference during his visit to China, Putin said that Russian athletes were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games with the flag and the national anthem of the Russian Federation while they wanted Moscow to follow "the rules dictated by the West."

French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out that Putin's refusal to observe an "Olympic truce" reflects a lack of readiness to achieve peace in Ukraine.




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