Ukrainian Olympian Drops Out of Sochi Games to Protest Kiev Crackdown

Alpine skier Bohdana Matsotska pins bloodshed on President Viktor Yanukovych

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Ruben Sprich / Reuters

Ukraine's Bohdana Matsotska skis during the women's alpine skiing Super G competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 15, 2014.

Olympic alpine skier Bohdana Matsotska announced this week via Facebook that she will no longer compete on behalf of Ukraine at the Winter Games in Sochi, following the government’s violent assault on protesters in country’s capital earlier this week, reports the Kyiv Post.

“In solidarity with the fighters on the barricades of the Maidan [protest camp], and as a protest against the criminal actions made towards the protesters, the irresponsibility of the president and his lackey government, we refuse further performance at the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014,” wrote Matsotska.

The Olympian and her father, who is also her trainer, went on to blame President Viktor Yanukovych for employing brutal measures against demonstrators this week rather than negotiating.

On Tuesday night, Ukrainian authorities launched a bloody crackdown on protesters barricaded in Kiev, killing at least 26 people in the worst violence the country has experienced since the end of Soviet rule in 1991.

[Kyiv Post]