VLADIMIR PUTIN honorary black belt has been revoked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president has been accused of committing war crimes after issuing the order to invade their neighbouring nation last week.
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy made the accusation after a blitz that killed 11 and destroyed a school in Kharkiv.
The midday raid left at least 11 dead, including three children – and other shelling also destroyed a school.
Kharkiv has been holding out staunchly against the Russian invaders even though it is just 25 miles from the border.
But this resistance appears to have led to Putin unleashing a devastating blitz on the city's 1.5million people.
Russia struck the city centre of Kharkiv again this morning near the administration building, injuring six people including a child.
Since he first directed his soldiers to invade last week, Putin and Russia have been hit with numerous sanctions.
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Now international martial arts groups have gone after his status in the taekwondo and judo world, according to NewsWeek.
World Taekwondo, the International Federation that governs the sport, confirmed it has revoked Putin's honorary 9th dan black belt that was awarded to him in 2013.
A statement from them confirmed: “World Taekwondo strongly condemns the brutal attacks on innocent lives in Ukraine, which go against the World Taekwondo vision of 'Peace is More Precious than Triumph' and the World Taekwondo values of respect and tolerance.
“World Taekwondo's thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we hope for a peaceful and immediate end to this war.”
Showing solidarity with the International Olympic Committee, World Taekwondo also confirmed that no Russian or Belarusian national flags or anthems will be displayed or played at the organisation's worldwide events.
It comes after the International Judo Federation suspended Putin's status as the federation's honorary president and ambassador.
Putin’s involvement in martial arts has been well-known for decades with NPR's Michele Kelemen previously rsaying: “Putin was, by most accounts, a good athlete, an expert in judo but an average student who, in the ninth grade, went to his local KGB office to sign up.”
He has also allegedly stated that judo ‘is not just a sport, it's a philosophy.’
Meanwhile, Euronews reported that Putin is ‘a keen judoka’ and watched the sport live at the London 2012 Olympics.
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