Cross-country skier and biathlete Mykhaylo Tkachenko of Ukraine bears the flag as he enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Credit: Tom Pennington

Ukraine isn’t boycotting the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia, but its athletes opted for a symbolic protest during the opening ceremony on Friday nonetheless.

Ukraine sent a small team of 23 athletes to Sochi, including cross-country skier and biathlete Mykhaylo Tkachenko, who carried the flag during the opening ceremony.

With their nations embroiled in a political-military conflict in the Crimean Peninsula, Tkachenko was the only one to enter the Olympic stadium during the athletes march.

The rest of the Ukrainian Paralympic team stood in the entry tunnel in protest, according to CBC.

While most athletes are attending the Paralympics, their governments are not.

Great Britain and the United States, most notably, withdrew their official delegations earlier this week in protest of Russia's involvement in Crimea.

“In addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine, the United States will no longer send a presidential delegation to the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden

  • Two spectators pose with Russian and Ukranian flags during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Dennis Grombkowski
  • Artists perform in the Fisht Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on March 7, 2014.
    Credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV
  • A giant icebreaker enters the arena carrying Russian soprano Maria Guleghina during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Ronald Martinez
  • President Vladimir Putin watches the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Ronald Martinez
  • A singer performs during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Ian Walton
  • Jonathan Lujan of United States carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Tom Pennington
  • The Paralympics begin after the lighting of the flame at Fisht Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Mark Kolbe
  • Canada enters the arena during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Tom Pennington
  • Cross-country skier and biathlete Mykhaylo Tkachenko of Ukraine bears the flag as he enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium on March 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
    Credit: Tom Pennington

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