War has killed 262 Ukrainian athletes, sports minister says


FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian servicemen lower to grave a coffin with the body of their brother-in-arms Volodymyr Androshchuk, who was recently killed in a fight against Russian troops near the Bakhmut town, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, during a funeral ceremony at a cemetery in the town of Letychiv, Khmelnytskyi region, Ukraine February 1, 2023. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

(Reuters) - Russia's war against Ukraine has claimed the lives of 262 Ukrainian athletes and destroyed 363 sports facilities, the country's sports minister, Vadym Huttsait, said on Saturday.

Meeting the visiting president of the International Federation of Gymnastics, Morinari Watanabe, Huttsait said no athletes from Russia should be allowed at the Olympics or other sports competitions.

"They all support this war and attend events held in support of this war," Huttsait said, according to a transcript on President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's website.

The International Olympic Committee has recommended the gradual return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competition as neutrals. It has not decided on their participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Ukraine said on Friday its athletes will not be allowed to take part in qualifying events for the 2024 Games if they have to compete against Russians, a decision the IOC has criticised.

Reuters could not independently verify the number of Ukrainian athletes killed or how many facilities have been destroyed.

In the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022, a number of Ukrainian national-level athletes have taken up arms voluntarily to defend their country.

Among those killed this year alone have been figure skater Dmytro Sharpar, who died in combat near Bakhmut, and Volodymyr Androshchuk, a 22-year-old decathlon champion and future Olympic hopeful.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by William Mallard)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Sudan refugees strain cash-strapped Chad's hospitality
WhatsApp testing new feature to allow screen-sharing during video call
What do we know about the drone strike on Moscow?
South Korea, Australia agree to step up defence cooperation
Alberta premier Smith takes aim at Trudeau after winning provincial election
‘Work from anywhere’ weeks are a vacation from return-to-office push
Japan court rules that a bar on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional
Populist premier Danielle Smith overcomes gaffes to win close-fought Alberta election
AI-threatened jobs are mostly held by women, study shows
Ukraine launches major drone attack on Moscow, Russia says all shot down

Others Also Read