Ukraine stages protest at Sochi Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Ukrainian biathlete Mykhaylo Tkachenko at Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Ukraine staged a small but powerful protest at the 2014 Winter Paralympics on Friday.

The Eastern European country sent just one delegate — their flag bearer, biathlete Mykailo Tkachenko, as their sole representative during the Games’ Opening Ceremony as a protest against the political tension between Ukraine and the host country of Russia. 

He was met with loud applause from the Fisht Olympic Stadium audience, Deadspin reported

The athletes have a right to have the Paralympic Games under peaceful conditions

-- Ukrainian Paralympic Committee president Valeriy Suskevich

The former Soviet republic had decided not to boycott the Games just hours before after Russia escalated tensions between the two countries with their military takeover of the Crimean peninsula.

"We are raising our flag for peace," said National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine president Valeriy Suskevich per a BBC report. "The athletes have a right to have the Paralympic Games under peaceful conditions." 

"I wish every success to Russian Paralympians, but the Ukrainian team have a colossal desire to bring peace to Ukraine."

H/t to Deadspin for the report.