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Russia-Ukraine War: Olympic Weightlifter Oleksandr Pielieshenko Killed On Frontline

Oleksandr Pielieshenko who was 30 years old was a two-time European champion and missed out on bronze at the Rio 2016 in the 85 kg category by finishing fourth

Facebook/Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation
Oleksandr Pielieshenko Photo: Facebook/Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation
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Ukrainian weightlifter Oleksandr Pielieshenko who represented the country in the 2016 Olympics has reportedly died on the front line during the war with Russia. He was 30. (More Sports News)

Oleksandr Pielieshenko was a two-time European champion and missed out on bronze at the Rio 2016 in the 85 kg category by finishing fourth.

He won the European championships in back-to-back editions, in 2016 and 2017, but was banned after he failed a drug test in 2018.

The news of his death was confirmed by the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine.

Pielieshenko "died in the war with the enemy" on Sunday, the committee posted on Telegram.

"War takes the best of us... heroes do not die," said weightlifting coach and Ukrainian Weightlifting Federation (UWF) board member Viktor Slobodianiuk.

Weightlifting Federation also paid tribute to the Olympian who was killed in action.

"It is with great sadness that we inform you that the heart of merited master of sports of Ukraine... Oleksandr Pielieshenko has stopped beating today," the UWF said in a post on Facebook.

"We express our sincere condolences to the family and everyone who knew Oleksandr."

The Guardian quoted another Ukrainian Olympian, Vladyslav Heraskevych, as saying that around 450 Ukrainians related to professional sports had now died in the war.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 terming it a 'special military operation'.

Kremlin has insisted that its 'special military operation' is aimed at "demilitarisation, denazification, (and) ensuring the safety of people living in those regions that have already become Russian."

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons as part of a military exercise. Putin has time and again talked about nuclear weapons alarming Ukraine's Western allies.

The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Russia possesses 1,558 non-strategic nuclear warheads, while precise numbers for these weapons are unknown because of a lack of transparency.

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