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Covering medals, Ukrainians stage silent protest
Covering medals, Ukrainian athletes stage silent protest at Sochi Paralympics in Russia
By ROB HARRIS
Associated Press
2014-03-16 03:01 AM

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- On a podium in Russia, Ukrainian athletes cover their Paralympic medals in a silent protest against the turmoil engulfing their country.

Ukraine's team decided against boycotting the Sochi Games, which end on Sunday, despite Russian forces taking over part of their country in the week before the Paralympics.

So Ukraine's athletes, who are prohibited from expressing political messages on the podium under Paralympic rules, found another way to protest.

Ukraine's cross-country relay team covered their silver medals as Russian rivals collected their gold medals at Saturday's ceremony.

Ukraine team official Nataliya Harach told The Associated Press "it is a silent protest, fighting for peace for everyone ... because the situation in Ukraine didn't change."

Harach stressed "it is not a political protest ... we don't want any disqualifications."

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