Ukraine athletes protest on podium at Russian Paralympics

On a podium in Russia, Ukrainian athletes covered their Paralympic medals in a silent protest against the turmoil engulfing their country.

Ukraine’s team decided against boycotting the Sochi Games, which are ending, despite Russian forces taking over part of their country in the week before the Paralympics.

So Ukraine’s athletes, who are prohibited from expressing political messages on the podium under Paralympic rules, found another way to protest.

Ukraine’s cross-country relay team covered their silver medals as Russian rivals collected their gold medals at today’s ceremony.

Ukraine team official Nataliya Harach said: “It is a silent protest, fighting for peace for everyone ... because the situation in Ukraine didn’t change.”

Ms Harach stressed: “It is not a political protest ... we don’t want any disqualifications.”

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