Putin Pretend to Fall Asleep as Ukraine’s Athletes Processed at Winter Olympics Opening.
Putin snubbed Ukraine’s athletes when they arrived at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing today, appearing to sleep, a moment of political drama as the threat of war grew big over the Games.
On Friday, the Russian warlord sat with his arms folded and eyes closed on TV feeds as Ukraine’s athletes walked into the Bird’s Nest stadium, despite Russia being legally banned due to doping.
It comes amid fears that he is going to invade their country, igniting the worst standoff with the West since the end of the Cold War.
Russia has athletes competing in the Olympics, and they were forced to compete as the ‘Russian Olympic Committee,’ and they are not allowed to wear the country’s flag on their uniforms or play the national anthem when they win.
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping was greeted with a standing ovation as he came for the ceremony, which saw frog-marching People’s Liberation Army soldiers hoisting the country’s flag while the national anthem played.
In an obvious propaganda attempt to deflect accusations that it is responsible for the genocide of Muslim minorities in the northwestern Xinjiang region, the Communist Chinese leadership chose a Uyghur athlete to light the Olympic flame.
Earlier in the day, Xi backed Putin on Ukraine, signing a joint statement condemning American dominance in Europe, opposing NATO expansion, and criticizing Washington’s ‘negative impact on peace and stability’ in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes the South China Sea and Taiwan.
Another tense moment occurred when Taiwanese athletes were forced to marched into the stadium as ‘Chinese Taipei.’
Taiwan considers itself a self-governing country, but Beijing regards it as a breakaway province and has threatened to’reunify’ it forcefully. The team had planned to boycott the games due to their team name, but officials insisted that they attend.
Putin was one of just a handful of foreign dignitaries to attend the events after most Western leaders boycotted over China’s human rights record and persecutions of Uighur Muslims in eastern Xinjiang province.
The world leaders were joined in the stands by just a handful of ‘select’ guests as the event takes place inside a Covid-secure bubble to comply with China’s strict zero Covid policy.