Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of “trying to conceal Russian crimes with white flags”, as he highlighted the number of his country’s athletes and coaches have been killed and wounded since the start of the reinvasion.

In a post on Twitter, Dmytro Kuleba, said: “This genocidal war is ordered by Putin, but carried out by regular Russians.

“Since last year, 231 Ukrainian athletes and coaches have been killed by the Russians, 15 wounded, 28 detained, and 4 are missing.

“The IOC must stop trying to conceal Russian crimes with white flags.”

On January 25, the IOC issued a statement in which it said Russian and Belarusian athletes might participate in the Paris Olympics next year as neutrals who are represented by white flags instead of their country’s.


Kuleba is not the first senior Ukrainian official to respond to the move – Ukrainian Presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak on Monday, Jan. 30, called the IOC a “promoter of war and destruction” after the sports body said it was considering ways for Russian athletes to compete.

He added: “The IOC watches with pleasure Russia destroying Ukraine and then offers Russia a platform to promote genocide and encourages their further killings.

“Obviously Russian money that buys Olympic hypocrisy doesn’t have a smell of Ukrainian blood. Right, Mr. Bach?” he added referring to IOC president Thomas Bach.

Two days earlier President Zelensky invited Bach to the frontline city of Bakhmut to “see for himself that neutrality does not exist”.

Kyiv has said it may boycott the Paris games as a sign of protest.

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