Chinese authorities blocked Ukrainian fencers from unfurling an antiwar banner at a competition in Nanjing, China, on Sunday, March 26.
The fencers, who were in Nanjing for the 2023 FIE Women’s Epee World Cup, tried to unveil a banner that showed how many athletes had been killed as a result of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Suspilne reported.
Officials in the Yangzi River International Conference Center immediately tried to roll the banner back up, this footage posted by one of the Ukrainian fencers shows.
Earlier this month, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) voted to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus back into their competitions. The Ukrainian Fencing Federation tried to block the move.
“FIE is trying to hide the truth with threats and restrictions, trying to silence us. But how is this different from the Russian political strategy?” said the Ukrainian Fencing Federation in response to the incident in Nanjing.
The statement was echoed by fencer Darya Varfolomeyeva on her Facebook account. Credit: Bezhura Dzhoan-Feybi via Storyful