Pole vault great and Ukrainian Olympic chief Sergei Bubka is urging both sides in Ukraine's political crisis to lay down their weapons and halt the violence in Kiev.

Bubka issued his call Wednesday after clashes between riot police and protesters left at least 25 people dead and 240 injured in the Ukrainian capital.

Bubka says he is "shocked by what is happening in my native country," especially because the violence is taking place during the Sochi Olympics.

He says "I am once again urging all parties to stop the violence which puts our country on the brink of catastrophe."

Bubka says "I'm ready to do everything I can to help the peaceful process because I love my country and our people and believe in our future, together."