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Beijing Paralympics opens after Russian team banned over Ukraine

Moscow blasts 'disgraceful' decision barring its athletes from competing

Ukrainian athletes walk during the opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games on March 4. Beijing is hosting the 2022 Paralympics with nearly 600 athletes from 46 countries set to compete.   © Reuters

BEIJING --Beijing's Winter Paralympics started under a cloud Friday as Russia blasted a decision to bar its athletes from competing over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

A dozen athletes from Belarus, a key staging area for the attack, were also banned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after it reversed a decision to let the teams from both countries take part as neutral competitors -- drawing threats of a boycott by nations that objected to the move.

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