War Has Killed 262 Ukrainian Athletes, Sports Minister Says

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Vadym HUTTSIT, Ukraine's Sports Minister, told Reuters that the war between Russia and Ukraine had claimed the lives 262 Ukrainian athletes, as well as destroyed 363 sporting facilities.

Huttsait, who met with Morinari Watanabe of the International Federation of Gymnastics and said that no Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics or any other sporting competition, stated this after meeting the visiting president of IFG.

Huttsait stated that "they all support this conflict and attend events in support of the war", according to a transcription on Volodymyr Zelenskiy's site.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that Russian and Belarussian athletes gradually return to international competition in neutral status. The IOC has not yet decided whether they will participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The IOC has criticized the decision.

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Reuters was unable to independently verify how many Ukrainian athletes were killed or destroyed.

After the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 a number Ukrainian athletes of national level have taken up arms to defend their nation.

Figure skater Dmytro SHARPAR, who was killed in combat near Bakhmut and Volodymyr Androschchuk, 22, a decathlon champion, are among those who have died this year.