The Ukrainian champions unexpectedly stood up for the Russians. The brave girls were immediately punished

The position of Ukraine regarding the participation of Russians in international tournaments is well known. For more than a year, the local national federations have been asking for the total removal of our athletes, otherwise threatening to boycott some departures.

However, even now among Ukrainian athletes there are those who do not share the official point of view. Two famous chess players unexpectedly spoke out against the indiscriminate disqualification of the Russians.

Anna and Maria were immediately punished for their courage.

Photo source: FIDE

“For us the location is strange”

Maria and Anna Muzychuk left an important mark on the history of Ukrainian sport. Famous chess players won many international titles: Maria once became the 15th world champion among women, and her sister became the world blitz champion.

In spring 2022, the Lviv Chess Federation started collecting signatures to submit to FIDE. In its letter, the organization made demands that have already become standard – to ban tournaments in Russia and remove all representatives of the country from competitions. To these conditions, however, one more, truly blatant thing was added: the Ukrainians demanded the dismissal of all the top management of the international federation, including Arkady Dvorkovich.

All members of the federation, with the exception of the Muzychuk sisters, left their signatures under the letter.

Photo source: Chess Federation of Ukraine

They declared that they did not support the crazy initiative and proposed several amendments. In particular disqualify Russians for only a while or limit yourself only to those who support the government of the Russian Federation.

The reaction of the regional federation was not long in coming: the officials immediately broke off relations with the girls.

Anna and Maria Muzychuk did not put their signatures under the letter, they believe that “not everything is so simple” and that “not all Russians are bad.” For us, such a position of Lviv women is strange, we decided to stop working with them, said in a statement by the Lviv Chess Federation.

“Why are we bullied like that?”

This isn’t the first time the sisters have come under pressure due to their ties to Russia. In 2019, the Muzychuk sisters went to the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk, where Maria managed to win bronze. However, despite her successful performance, the girl was criticized at home for the very fact of a trip to a neighboring country.

Photo source: RIA Novosti

However, the sisters reacted to the negative as coldly as possible:

– We went to the World Cup at our own expense. Marichka took third place and, of course, did not receive a reward from the Ministry for this, because this is precisely part of that order. But the question is another: why are we so “poisoned” in front of these competitions? It was very unfortunate that so much dirt was poured into it before the World Cup, ” quotes Anna Muzychuk.

In the same interview, the athlete clearly explained the position of both sisters. According to Muzychuk, refusing to travel to Russia, where the most competitive chess tournaments are held regularly, is tantamount to the end of a career for professionals. However, they started listening to girls at home.


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