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Photos: Vitali Klitschko, Nikolai Valuev Now Political Foes

They never got the opportunity to meet in the ring, but now former heavyweight champions Nikolai Valuev and Vitali Klitschko find themselves in opposite corners of a political war that may become violent between their respective countries.

Valuev, now a Russian State Duma Deputy, spoke to reporters as he attended a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia. President Putin has signed a treaty to officially include Crimea (southwestern region of Ukraine) as part of the Russian Federation after the region voted resoundingly to be part of Russia in a poll 48 hours ago. The Russian parliament is expected to ratify the treaty later this week. Valuev embraces Crimea's loyalty to Russia.

Meanwhile, Klitschko - leader of the UDAR political party and tipped by many to become the next President of Ukraine, held a rally to warn Crimea of the consequences in their decision to become a part of Russia.

"Crimea is today on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. The Ukrainian citizens there are left at the mercy of foreign occupiers and local criminals. There is also a risk of ethnic cleansing. Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians and all patriots of Ukraine are threatened,” Klitschko said.

Despite the potential annexation of Crimea by The Kremlin, Klitschko insisted Kiev would not cut off energy supplies and support to the region.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by budfr on 03-19-2014

[QUOTE=bud newman;14341922]This part of the planet has always produced the largest and strongest men, yet not until the Soviet Union's wall came down were the warriors allowed to compete professionally as heavyweight boxers in the free market and win fame…

Comment by bud newman on 03-18-2014

This part of the planet has always produced the largest and strongest men, yet not until the Soviet Union's wall came down were the warriors allowed to compete professionally as heavyweight boxers in the free market and win fame and…

Comment by Kris Silver on 03-18-2014

[QUOTE=croz;14341112]It says president. The party and the presidency are two different things.[/QUOTE] Whatever. Either or he's not favoured by many is he? I wasn't even aware he was anything but a distant 2nd or 3rd biggest party as for any…

Comment by croz on 03-18-2014

[QUOTE=Kris Silver;14341088]Tipped by many to be the next PM. That's news isn't it. His party holds a minority of the vote.[/QUOTE] It says president. The party and the presidency are two different things.

Comment by Kris Silver on 03-18-2014

Tipped by many to be the next PM. That's news isn't it. His party holds a minority of the vote.

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