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Ukrainian skater performs with red stain on shirt to draw attention to Russian attacks

by Elsa Court January 13, 2024 10:57 AM 2 min read
Ivan Shmuratko competes in the Men's Free Skating during the ISU European Figure Skating Championships at Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania, on Jan. 12, 2024. (Joosep Martinson - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian figure skater Ivan Shmuratko performed a routine with a blood-red stain on his shirt to draw attention to civilians killed by Russian missile attacks, Suspilne reported on Jan. 12.

The 22-year-old skater, who represented Ukraine at the 2022 Olympic Games and is a four-time national champion, performed during the men's free skating section at the European Figure Skating Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Shmuratko told Suspilne that the stain shows "more than can be conveyed with words" since "people die from rockets like that, from blood."

In the men's short program section on Jan. 10, Shmuratko also used his performance to draw attention to Russia's continued mass attacks against Ukrainian civilians.

According to Suspilne, the routine "showed the story of a child who is killed by a rocket, as well as a father who continues to live with it."

Shmuratko, who is from Kyiv, trained in France and Germany following the launch of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

He later decided to return to Kyiv, explaining that he "went back to train in Ukraine because it's my home."

Official: Russia’s full-scale invasion has killed over 400 Ukrainian athletes
Some in Russia have complained about supposed unfairness of only being able to compete without the Russian flag, said Vadym Gutzeit, the head of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee. “We’re losing people... Is that fair to us?” he added.

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