Entertainment

Ukrainian athlete withdraws from Winter Paralympics after father is captured by Russian troops


Ukrainian biathlete Anastasiia Laletina withdraws from the Winter Paralympics after her father – a soldier in her country’s military – was captured by Russian troops

  • Anastasiia Laletina pulled out of the middle distance sitting event in Beijing 
  • Her father, a solider in the Ukrainian military, was captured by Russian troops 
  • A spokesperson said that Laletina, 19, was ‘very upset’ by the disturbing event 
  • She will stay in Zhangjiakou, venue for cross-country skiing and biathlon events 


Ukrainian biathlete Anastasiia Laletina has withdrawn from the Winter Paralympics after her father, a soldier in her country’s military, was captured by Russian troops during the war, it has been confirmed.

A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Paralympic committee said they had no further details on his capture, but the disturbing turn of events saw Laletina pull out of the middle distance sitting event in Beijing yesterday.

Laletina, 19, remains in Zhangjiakou, the venue for the cross-country skiing and biathlon competitions, and will fly out to Poland with the rest of the Ukraine contingent as planned at the end of the Paralympics. 

‘Her father is a soldier in the Ukrainian army and (was taken) prisoner by Russian soldiers. They beat him,’ said the team’s spokeswoman Natalia Harach.

‘She was very upset and couldn’t take part in the race.’

The young athlete was tended to by a team doctor, Harach added.

As per her International Paralympic Committee bio, Laletina began para Nordic skiing in 2019 in Chernihiv. She has been unable to walk since childhood.

Harach also said that the house of an assistant coach was bombed in Kharkiv.

Ukrainian biathlete Anastasiia Laletina (above) has withdrawn from the Winter Paralympics

Moscow has labelled their invasion a ‘special military operation’, but the bloodshed prompted the International Paralympic Committee to ban them from the Games.

Belarus have also been prevented from taking part after their authorities allowed Vladimir Putin’s forces to use their country as a staging ground for attacks. 

Despite the situation in their homeland, Ukrainian’s athletes have continued to collect medals. Today, they won a silver and bronze in cross-country skiing.

Yesterday, they won nine of the 18 medals awarded in the biathlon events. 

Laletina's father, a soldier in the Ukrainian military, has been captured by Russian forces

Laletina’s father, a soldier in the Ukrainian military, has been captured by Russian forces

Dmytro Suiarko, a Ukrainian biathlete, collected a bronze medal in the middle distance vision impaired just a day after his house was destroyed by shelling. 

The trio of Iryna Bui, Oleksandra Kononova and Liudmyla Liashenko swept the podium spots in the middle distance biathlon race, meanwhile.  

‘We are here to fight for Ukraine, with Ukraine and in the name of Ukraine,’ Bui later told reporters.

Ukraine are currently third in the table behind hosts China and Canada.

Their medal tally is 19, after they won six golds, eight silvers and five bronzes. 

Dmytro Suiarko, a Ukrainian biathlete, won bronze after his house was destroyed by bombing

Dmytro Suiarko, a Ukrainian biathlete, won bronze after his house was destroyed by bombing

Meanwhile, Russian troops stranded in the 40-mile long convoy of tanks and armoured vehicles stalled on the outskirts of Kyiv could face freezing to death in their vehicles this week as temperatures are set to plunge. 

A pronounced cold snap in Eastern Europe will see temperatures drop to -10C overnight in the middle of the week around Kyiv and Kharkiv – down to -20C when wind chill is taken into account.

The icy conditions are expected to make a difficult situation even worse for the invaders, who have been stuck roughly 20 miles from Kyiv for days amid mechanical problems, fuel supply issues and solid Ukrainian resistance.

Former British Army Major Kevin Price said the occupiers’ tanks will become nothing more than ’40-ton freezers’ as the mercury drops, commenting that the bitter conditions will destroy the morale of troops not prepared for Arctic-style warfare. 

Russian troops are attempting to surround Kyiv ahead of what is set to be an attack on the city

Russian troops are attempting to surround Kyiv ahead of what is set to be an attack on the city

Ukraine war: The latest 

  • Russia refloats plans to open humanitarian corridors. Kyiv calls the proposal a publicity stunt
  • Ukrainian servicemen and fleeing residents describe ferocious fighting on Kyiv’s northwestern edge, including hand-to-hand combat
  • 18 people, including two children, died in an air strike on the city of Sumy
  • Ukraine’s military claims Russian general Vitaly Gerasimov is killed in fighting near Kharkiv
  • Russia steps up its shelling of Gostomel near Kyiv, Kharkiv in the east, Sumy in the northeast, Chernihiv in the north and Mykolayiv in the southwest
  • Tens of thousands are still trapped without water or power in the southern port of Mariupol after two failed evacuation attempts
  • At least 13 people are killed by shelling at an industrial bakery in Makariv, west of Kyiv
  • Nearly all of Russia’s 150,000 combat troops arrayed on Ukraine’s border have now entered the country
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency receives reports of artillery shells damaging a nuclear research facility in Ukraine’s besieged second city Kharkiv
  • White House says there is no agreement with European allies on a blanket ban on oil and gas imports
  • The World Bank approves an additional $489million package for Ukraine, made available immediately
  • Russia says it will allow Russian companies and individuals to repay debts to creditors in ‘hostile’ nations in rubles
  • US-based Morgan Stanley says a Russian default on sovereign debts will come as soon as next month
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is not sending conscripts or reservists to fight
  • Kyiv’s presidential advisor says talks with Russia brought some ‘positive results’, while Moscow’s lead negotiator said aims were ‘not fulfilled’ 
  • Turkey announces it will host Russia’s and Ukraine’s foreign ministers for talks Thursday.
  • Foreign footballers and coaches working in Russia and Ukraine will be allowed to temporarily suspend their contracts and move elsewhere, FIFA announces 
  • The UN says 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II

Advertisement



Source link

Back to top button