Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial deployment of troops to fight the war in Ukraine. About 300,000 reservists are being recruited to step up the Russian bomber. The country’s Sports Minister, Oleg Matytsin, said that athletes will not have “exclusive” privileges if there is a call-up.
+ Opinion: Putin’s speech leaves Russia even further away from Paris 2024
+ Secretary-General of the Russian Olympic Committee fled the country, says state media
Figure skater Dmitri Aliev, gold medalist at the European Championship, and former football player Diniyar Bilyaletdinov are among the names called, according to the international press, to serve in the Russian army in combat.
Vladimir Putin meets Russian athletes in Sochi – Photo: AP
At the “Russia – A Sporting Power” forum, Matytsin revealed that he hopes athletes will participate in the war if called upon.
– Sport cannot be singled out as a separate refined community that should enjoy some sort of exclusive privileges, the Russian Sports Minister said in a report by the official state news agency, TASS.
– It was announced many times at the beginning of a special military operation, they (the athletes) supported the president and expressed an absolutely unequivocal opinion that sport is one family. All the problems, difficulties and tasks that the State is solving now, sport will solve together with everyone. There won’t be and shouldn’t be any exclusivity, he concluded.
And he stated that there is a desire for the sport to continue to develop in this period:
– Yes, we understand that athletes and coaches are a “golden pit”, especially those who are preparing for the Olympic Games, members of national teams. Certain protection measures for certain categories will possibly be postponed while we are in dialogue with the government. I hope that the sports system will continue to develop actively despite the situation, said Oleg.
The minister’s comments follow Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov’s assertions that athletes should be honored if they are called up to war. Some Russian National Sports Federations have confirmed that the athletes have received a call-up.
In addition to the athletes mentioned, there is information that two snowboard athletes and four cycling members, three athletes and a coach, were also summoned.