February 20 - The Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation has cancelled an international acrobatic gymnastics tournament in the wake of fresh violence in Kiev's Independence Square that has left at least 75 people dead since Tuesday (February 18).
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) recognised Stars Above The River tournament was due to have taken place in the city of Vinnytsia, which is located 250 kilometres southwest of the capital where clashes erupted again this week, shattering a truce aimed at ending Ukraine's worst violence in its post-Soviet history.
The event would have attracted some 200 gymnasts from across 14 countries, however, the decision was made in light of the "organisational difficulties presented by the internal political situation".
The FIG said it has taken note of the decision "with understanding" and sent a message of "compassion and hope for the whole country, with hopes that it may recover its calm and serenity as soon as possible".
Ukraine's bloody unrest first began at the end of November when President Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for a trade deal with the European Union in favour of strengthening relations with Russia.
The protests turned violent last month when anti-Government demonstrators began to throw petrol bombs and the police responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.
Tensions had begun to calm on Monday (February 17) as an amnesty for protestors came into force after they ended their occupation of Government buildings, however clashes were sparked once again when Government supporters blocked opposition attempts to cut Yanukovych's constitutional powers.
At least 21 protestors died in Kiev today as European Union Foreign Ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials "responsible for violence and excessive force".
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