UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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Ukrainian Canadians disappointed by Russian athletes’ inclusion in chess tournament

#DiasporaNews
April 11,2024 618
Ukrainian Canadians disappointed by Russian athletes’ inclusion in chess tournament

The Ukrainian community in Canada is disappointed with the decision to allow Russian chess players to participate in the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) 2024 Candidates’ Tournament. The community urges revoking this decision, stated the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), citing a statement from the Consulate General of Ukraine in Toronto.

While Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, targeting apartment buildings, kindergartens, schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure with ballistic missiles on a daily basis, the participation of Russian players, some of whom appear to have connections to the Russian regime and entities sanctioned by many countries, including Canada, in a chess event in Toronto sends the wrong signal to the families of the victims and the international community,” the statement reads.

Achieving normalcy with Russia is unattainable until it ceases its aggression against Ukraine and withdraws from the entire sovereign territory of Ukraine, emphasizes the community. The Consulate General also reminded that since February 24, 2022, occupiers have killed over 450 Ukrainian athletes and coaches.

The participation of Russian chess players in the international tournament in Toronto undermines the efforts of the international community to hold Russia accountable for the crimes committed. “We call on all involved to take urgent steps to cancel the participation of the aforementioned Russian individuals in the tournament in Toronto,” concludes the appeal.

In February, the UCC sent a letter to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, regarding the admission of Russians to the tournament. However, the community received no response.

The International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) 2024 Candidates’ Tournament has been taking place since April 3 in Toronto and will last until April 23. The competition is a decisive stage for the right to play a match for the world champion title against Chinese chess player Ding Liren.

Cover: the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) 2024 Candidates’ Tournament