Krystsina Tsimanouskaya filmed arriving at Polish embassy in Tokyo as husband flees to Ukraine
The Belarus Olympic athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has received a humanitarian visa from Poland after she was threatened with being repatriated to Minsk over her criticism of Olympic team officials.
Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, wrote on Twitter on Monday that the Belarusian sprinter was in direct contact with Polish diplomats and had been granted a humanitarian visa to the country, where she is expected to fly later this week. “Poland will do whatever is necessary to help her to continue her sporting career,” wrote Przydacz.
On Monday, Tsimanouskaya’s husband, Arseniy Zdanevich, confirmed to Sky News that he had fled the country and was currently in Kyiv. “I didn’t think it would get this serious. I made the decision to leave without thinking twice,” he told the TV station.
Tsimanouskaya, 24, was filmed arriving at the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday, where she is said to be seeking refuge from pressure by officials to return to Belarus. Dmitry Navosha, a sports journalist from Belarus and member of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), said she would fly to Warsaw later this week.
“She has already applied for political asylum in Poland,” Alexander Opeikin, the acting director of the BSSF, told the Russian-language broadcaster Current Time. “She is fine. She is managing well; it’s clear that this is a stressful situation not just for an athlete, but for any person under this kind of pressure. This is a young woman put under pressure by experienced officials.”