March 4 - Ukrainian Minister of Youth and Sport Dmitry Bulatov is personally boycotting the Winter Paralympics in Sochi but a decision is yet to be made on the participation of his country's athletes at the Games.
Bulatov's decision comes after Russia sent thousands of troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted today that force could be used as a "last resort" to protect his country's interests.
Natalya Garach, the Ukrainian team's press officer, has confirmed a decision will be taken before the Opening Ceremony of the Games, which is due to take place on Friday (March 7).
Garach also told the BBC that athletes have been in Sochi training and preparing for the Paralympics since Saturday (March 1) and the atmosphere in the team is "certainly not depressed".
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence claimed they will respect whatever decision is ultimately made by the Ukrainian team.
"We are in daily dialogue with the Ukrianian NPC and they are obviously concerned about what is going on back home," he told insidethegames.
"At the moment, they haven't indicated that they are considering boycotting the Games and they are here training and preparing in Sochi ahead of them getting underway.
"We get the impression they will still compete because they are still here, but the situation is evolving all the time, and we have to respect whatever decision they make."
Ukraine are one of the strongest nations in Paralympic sport and finished fourth on the medals table at London 2012 and fifth at the last winter version held in Vancouver in 2010.
They are expected to be represented by a 31-strong team to take part in the three sports of cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing and biathlon.
At last month's Olympic Games in Sochi, Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Valj Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna won the nation's first Winter gold medal for 20 years in the women's 4x5 kilometres biathlon relay - while only one member of the whole Ukrainian squad chose to withdraw in protest of domestic events.
The Olympics and in particular the gold medal success was credited with uniting the country at a time of conflict.
But, with events having escalated since then, it remains to be seen whether a decision to stay and compete will be made again this time around.
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