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Winter Olympics: Ukrainian hugged by Russian after winning country’s 1st medal

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Tensions may be high as Russian troops are reportedly massing at the border of Ukraine, but thousands of miles away, athletes from the two countries embraced.

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Oleksandr Abramenko won Ukraine’s first medal of the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday, taking silver in the men’s aerials event, NBC Sports reported. The defending Olympic champion lost to China’s Qi Guangpu, but received a hug from the bronze medalist, Russia’s Ilia Burov, according to The Associated Press.

Qi clinched the gold medal after executing a quintuple-twisting triple jump, NBC Sports reported.

“I’m so happy for this silver and really proud of myself that I’ve won the first medal for Ukraine at these Games,” Abramenko told reporters. “I’m really happy that I made my five twists, although the landing was not really good, but enough for second place.”

Abramenko won gold in aerials at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Qi and Abramenko held up flags from their countries on the podium, according to the AP. Burov pointed to a Russian Olympic Committee logo on his left arm; Russia’s name and flag were banned at the Beijing Games after the country’s doping scandal.

Russian forces have been threatening Ukraine along its eastern border, from the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea and in Belarus, the AP reported.