Over 400 Ukrainian athletes have been killed due to Russia’s full-scale war, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing Vadym Hutsayt, President of the National Olympic Committee, on 27 December.
This statement came after Russia’s claims that “they don’t want to participate in the Olympics without their flag, that they won’t participate, that it’s unfair to them.”
Vadym Hutsayt said, “What’s fair when over 400 of our athletes have already been killed.”
He also said that nearly 500 sports facilities have been partially or completely destroyed. Around 300-350 athletes from Russia previously participated in the Olympic Games.
“If they are to participate under a neutral flag, there will be around 50-80 people,” Hutsayt said.
Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris in a neutral status, the International Olympic Committee announced on 8 December.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has decided that Individual Neutral Athletes who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
The head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, Matvii Bidnyi, condemned the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in neutral status, calling it irresponsible.
In January 2023, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the International Olympic Committee is “sweeping Russian war crimes under the rug” and “trampling on the graves of thousands of innocent people” by allowing Russian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in any status.