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Zelenskiy of Ukraine urges Olympic sponsors to keep Russia out of the Games

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By Nick Stark

LVIV (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Ukraine has sent letters to companies supporting the International Olympic Committee urging them to keep Russian athletes out of the Paris Olympic Games, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

Zelenskiy has led a campaign to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in the games under a neutral flag. Zelenskiy said their presence would normalize the Russian invasion of his country and make “terror” acceptable.

“Ukraine has sent appropriate letters to the companies that provide the most support to the International Olympic Committee,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

“These are large international companies that clearly have an interest in ensuring that their reputations and endorsements are not used for war propaganda.”

The IOC said in late January that the Olympic Council of Asia had offered Russian and Belarusian athletes the chance to compete in Asia, prompting protests from Kiev which has called for a ban on Russian athletes for invading Russia.

The committee later said it was awaiting sanctions imposed against Russia, which invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, and Belarus whose authorities have provided support for the invasion.

To know more:

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Ukraine buries boxing coach whose kitchen wall was ripped out in Russian attack

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Nick Starkov; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)