Ukraine's Olympic silver medallist Pavlo Tymoshchenko, right, has joined athletes expressing opposition to the UIPM's decision to allow Russian athletes to return to international competition ©Getty Images

Ukraine's Taras Khimich has released a video featuring testimony from fellow athletes opposed to the International Modern Pentathlon Union's (UIPM) decision to pursue a return to competition for individuals from Russia and Belarus.

The UIPM last month followed updated International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendations in allowing individual athletes from the two countries to return to competitions, having been banned since the start of the war in Ukraine.

It plans to establish an independent panel to review athlete eligibility based on criteria established by the Executive Board.

Khimich's has released a video via Instagram featuring athletes expressing their opposition to the UIPM's move.

A group of six athletes underlined they do not agree with the UIPM's move, eight claimed they do not wish to compete against Russian and Belarusian competitors, and six called for that their return to be delayed until the end of the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine's Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Pavlo Tymoshchenko was among those who featured in the video.

Khimich's video said "this is not a good time for solidarity while Ukrainians are suffering from aggressors", and argued "athletes have human rights to mental health and protection of dignity".

It added "athletes have right to peaceful and friendly participation in competitions", and called on the UIPM to "protect Ukrainian athletes from discrimination".

The UIPM said athletes were welcome to express their viewpoints.

"Every member of our community is entitled to their opinion and we fully expect opinions to be strong around such a complex issue," a spokesperson told insidethegames.

"We encourage athletes to communicate with UIPM through established channels, such as their National Federation or the UIPM Athletes Committee, to ensure that their views can be properly received and considered."

In outlining its stance last month, the UIPM said it "reaffirms its unwavering support for the athletes of Ukraine and their communities".

It justified the return for Russian and Belarusian athletes by arguing it is "in line with the Olympic Charter and especially the principle of non-discrimination", and sport should "act as a vehicle for peace and a symbol of solidarity between athletes".

International Federations have been divided in their responses to the IOC's updated recommendations, which allow individual Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to competitions provided they do not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

Modern pentathlon joins archery, canoeing, fencing, judo, shooting, skateboarding, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling in lifting blanket bans on athletes from Russia and Belarus since the IOC Executive Board decision.

However, athletics, badminton, basketball, equestrian, sport climbing and surfing have decided to maintain their bans.

Critics argue Russian and Belarusian athletes would be used for political purposes by both nations and there should be no place for either country in international sport while the war is ongoing, but opponents in Russia and Belarus have claimed the conditions laid out are "discriminatory".