© / Grigory SysoevMaria Lasitskene and Yaroslav Maguchy
MOSCOW, 19 Jul – Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslav Maguchy said that Russian Olympic champion Maria Lasitskene is no longer her idol.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. President Vladimir Putin called its goal “the protection of people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” For this, according to him, it is planned to carry out “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”, to bring to justice all war criminals responsible for “bloody crimes against civilians” in Donbass.
“We no longer have relations (with Russian athletes). Until February 24, everyone communicated with each other, we talked with Russian athletes, but after that everything changed. None of them wrote anything. They were silent. Many of them say that this is not their problem is because Yulia (Levchenko) and Irina (Gerashchenko) and I shared things on social networks. They don’t understand what’s going on… And then they say: “We can’t do anything.” They can do anything. Why are they think so? Maria Lasitskene wrote a letter to Thomas Bach (President of the International Olympic Committee) only three months later. And that’s all she wrote. Very bad. I no longer have an idol. I know that I am an idol for many Ukrainian jumpers. And for their sake, I want to become better,” Maguchyh NRK quotes.
After the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, a scandal erupted in Ukraine due to a joint photo of the bronze medalist of the Maguchy competitions with Lasitskene, who won the gold medal. Some Ukrainian media and nationalists criticized the photo. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, after a conversation with Maguchy, regarded the picture as “a consequence of emotions.” Maguchikh is a junior lieutenant in the country’s armed forces.