Ukraine's 10m platform European champion Oleksiy Sereda is among divers from the country urging a ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes ©Getty Images

Ukrainian national divers have released a video urging World Aquatics and other International Federations to maintain bans on Russian and Belarusian athletes from their competitions.

Oleksiy Sereda, Stanislav Oliferchyk, Oleksandr Horshkovozov, Kseniya Baylo and Anna Pysmenska all feature in the video, sharing stories of the impact of the war with Russia on their lives.

Oliferchyk, a mixed 3 metres synchronised gold at the European Diving Championships in Ukraine's capital Kyiv in 2019, is from Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine, which has been under Russian occupation since March last year and is one of the cities worst affected by the conflict.

He said that the swimming pool had been destroyed in Mariupol, and his mother and sister forced to evacuate.

Reigning men's 10m platform European champion Sereda said a shell had struck his house in Mykolaiv, while Horshkovozov revealed he had not been home to Luhansk since 2014 because of the War in Donbas.

"Russian athletes competed under the white Olympic flag from 2016 Games in Rio and this did not stop the war, expanded only," Horshkovozov said on the video.

"Belarusians had got involved in a full military escalation.

"Innocent Ukrainians and athletes continue to die."

Russian athletes were allowed to compete under their own flag despite revelations of the state-sponsored doping scandal at Rio 2016, although 111 were deemed ineligible by International Federations in what amounted to a partial ban.

They then competed under the Olympic Athletes of Russia banner at Pyeongchang 2018 after the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and under the ROC flag at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 because of World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions.

Shortly after the end of the last year's Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital, Russia assisted by Belarus launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine which led to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommending the non-participation of athletes from both countries.

The IOC last month paved the way for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international sport as neutrals provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

World Aquatics has created a task force to explore their return, although the Russian Swimming Federation Vladimir Salnikov has conceded this is unlikely to be in time for this year's World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka.

World Aquatics has created a task force to explore a return for Russian and Belarusian athletes to its competitions ©Getty Images
World Aquatics has created a task force to explore a return for Russian and Belarusian athletes to its competitions ©Getty Images

Baylo, the women's 10m synchronised silver medallist at last year's European Championships in Rome, argued that "Russian and Belarusian athletes are supported by their Governments" and "key ambassadors of their terrorist countries' propaganda".

Pysmenska insisted "we want people to stop dying".

They each called for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be blocked from competing as neutrals.

insidethegames has asked World Aquatics for a comment on the video.

Supporters of the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes insist it would be discriminatory to ban them on the basis of their Governments' actions, but opponents argue there should be no place for them in international sport while the war is ongoing.