Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ukraine told to steer clear of Russians at Winter Games

Ukraine told to steer clear of Russians at Winter Games

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A construction worker walks past the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games logo on a street in Beijing on December 11, 2021. AFP

Ukraine told to steer clear of Russians at Winter Games

Ukraine’s sports minister on Wednesday urged the country’s athletes to avoid Russians at the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, amid fears that Russia might invade its ex-Soviet neighbour.

Kyiv and Moscow have been at loggerheads since Moscow annexed Crimea and backed a separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine in 2014, starting a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Tensions peaked after Western governments accused Moscow of amassing over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border in recent months and warned it could be planning an attack.

Sports minister Vadym Guttsayt said Wednesday that during a “patriotic” meeting athletes and coaches were instructed to avoid the Russian Olympic delegation.

They were told to “avoid standing with Russian athletes and not take photos”, he told the online outlet Tribuna.com.

“The war has been going on for eight years, now it is an aggravation of the situation on the border. It is very important that our athletes really control their emotions in such situations,” he said.

Guttsayt said he cannot “force” them to avoid Russians, but his ministry “recommends” that the 45 Ukrainian athletes travelling to Beijing do so.

“I understand that for many years there have been friendships between athletes who train together. But . . . this is the country with which we are at war,” he said.

The minister added that everyone “agreed and heard” the message following the meeting.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko, a former world heavyweight champion boxer, pledged to “defend” the city, if warnings of a potential invasion by Russian forces come true.

Ukraine’s Western allies warned that they will slap harsh sanctions should Moscow attack Ukraine. The Kremlin has denied any plans to invade.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At