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Ukraine confirms participation in Summer Olympics in Paris

The flag of Ukraine flies in the wind over the port city of Odessa. Kay Nietfeld/dpa
The flag of Ukraine flies in the wind over the port city of Odessa. Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Ukraine will send a team of athletes to the Summer Olympics in Paris this year, despite the continuing war with Russia, Sports Minister Matviy Bidnyi announced in Kiev on Monday.

Bidnyi said that Ukraine had already scored a victory, as Russia had been suspended from the Olympic movement following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Vadym Gutzeit, president of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee (NOC), described the trip to the Games being held from July 26 to August 11 as sending out a significant message.

"It's already a victory that we are able to participate under conditions of invasion," he said. The athletes were preparing for the Games "under missiles and bombs," he said. Most Ukrainian athletes are completing their pre-Olympics preparation outside the country.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus will only be permitted to participate in the Paris Games as neutrals and without national flags or anthems.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the various sports associations aim to ensure that athletes who have backed the Russian invasion will not be allowed to participate. Ukraine has provided documentation on Russian and Belarusian athletes to support decisions in this regard.

These arrangements have cleared the way for Ukraine to participate, and Monday's announcement represents formal confirmation.

At the beginning of the month, the Ukrainian NOC published recommendations to its athletes recommending that they should avoid meetings and photographs with Russian and Belarusian athletes, where possible.