Sport has never been ‘beyond politics’ for the Russian political elite. Putin’s regime has inherited this instrument of hybrid warfare from the USSR. Public competitions and connections with global sports authorities were used as tools of informal international influence.
Russia hates fair play: Russian executives are ready to scheme to put the Russian team among the leaders of every medal count. Notoriously, systematic doping of Russian athletes has resulted in 46 Olympic medals stripped from the country. The 2018 World Cup was a result of a corruption scandal and was held with multiple human rights violations.
As a reaction to Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine, numerous international sports leagues and organizations have suspended Russia’s membership and ability to participate in elite sports competitions. FIFA, UEFA, World Rugby, International Tennis Federation, Formula 1, governing bodies of Winter and Summer Olympics disciplines and many more joined efforts to isolate the aggressor. Russian federations and athletes have filed legal challenges to fight their bans, but this international reaction to the war in Ukraine is likely to stain Russian elite sports for decades.
Sports ban of Russia over war in Ukraine is a significant blow to the aggressor’s twisted international influence. Ukraine in Flames #45 will illustrate how a sports ban on Russia helps achieve peace and restore faith in sportsmanship.
Ihor Martynenko, sports journalist
Illia Shevliak, President of the Sports Committee of Ukraine, First Deputy Minister of Youth, Family and Sport (2005-2008)
Yelyzaveta Yakhno, Ukrainian synchronized swimmer, World Championships medalist
Bohdan Mochulsky, Ukrainian Jujutsu fighter, World Championships medalist
Stanislav Horuna, Ukrainian karate athlete, Olympic bronze medalist
Ivan Shmuratko, Ukrainian figure skater
Vladyslav Heraskevych, Ukrainian skeleton racer
Natalia Harach, press secretary of the National Committee for Sports for the Disabled of Ukraine
UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Ukrainian Catholic University’s analytical center and NGO "Euroatlantic Course". We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.
If you want to support Ukraine against Russian aggression, check the link with recommendations by Ukraine Crisis Media Center – https://uacrisis.org/en/help-ukraine
NGO Euroatlantic Course collects donations to support Ukrainian Army and civilians – https://eac.org.ua/en/main-page/