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Paralympics: First medals in Russia under Ukraine shadow

Published on Mar 8, 2014 7:55 PM
 
Ukraine's flag-bearer Mykhaylo Tkachenko arrives in the stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, on March 7, 2014. The 37-year-old skier and biathlete was the only Ukrainian competitor to take part in the opening ceremony, in a symbolic protest against Russia's incursion into Crimea. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ROSA KHUTOR (Russia) (AFP) - Paralympians set out about turning the spotlight onto the sporting action, as competition got under way in the Winter Paralympics on Saturday after an opening ceremony overshadowed by Russia's intervention in Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had opened the Games the night before in Sochi, which lies just south-east across the Black Sea from Ukraine's peninsula of Crimea which has been seized by pro-Moscow forces.

Only one Ukrainian competitor, 37-year-old skier and biathlete Mykhailo Tkachenko, took part in the opening ceremony, in a symbolic protest against Russia's incursion into Crimea.

"It was a team decision to have one person in the parade. We had a discussion, and he said he wanted to do it," said Oleksandr Onischenko, a translator with the Ukrainian team.

 
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