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International Cat Federation bans Russian felines over Ukraine crisis

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The International Cat Federation has banned Russian cats from its competitions following the country's move to invade Ukraine last week.

The federation, which is also known as FIFe after its French name, Fédération Internationale Féline, said in a statement that it was "shocked and horrified" that Russian forces had attacked Ukraine and "started a war."

"No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of which organization these exhibitors hold their membership in," the organization said in the statement.

In addition, no cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of which organization issued its pedigree.

The federation said the measures were decided Tuesday, as its officials could not "witness these atrocities and do nothing."

"Many innocent people died, many more are wounded and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to flee their homes to save their lives," the organization said. "On top of that our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances."

The ban on Russian felines will remain in place until the end of May, after which it will be re-evaluated. Officials said they would also be donating funds to assist cat breeders in Ukraine.

The International Cat Federation was first formed in 1949 and hosts over 700 shows each year with more than 200,000 cats exhibited, according to its website.

The International Cat Federation is the latest organization to take a stand against Russia.

On Feb. 28, the International Olympic Committee banned Russian athletes from competing in the Paralympics, which began on Friday. The committee urged other sports bodies to do the same in excluding Russian athletes and officials from international events.

In response, FIFA has suspended Russian national teams from World Cup competition, including qualifying playoffs set to take place later this month.

Tech companies are also taking action in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Apple has stopped selling all of its products in Russia, while Google has suspended all ad sales in the country. Twitter and Snapchat have also made similar ad pauses in the country.

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