Putin falls asleep as Ukraine athletes enter Beijing stadium during Olympics opening ceremony

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 04, 2022, 10:19 PM(IST)

Putin falls asleep Photograph:( Twitter )

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Putin, who wasn’t wearing any masks while being seated in the VIP area, was seen closing his eyes and sitting with his arms folded as the team from Russia’s neighbour entered the arena

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to fall asleep when a contingent of Ukraine athletes made their way into the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing during the opening ceremony of the games on Friday.

With more than 100,000 troops reportedly stationed near the Ukrainian borders, Putin attended the opening ceremony even as many western nations announced diplomatic boycott over human rights in Xinjian province, clampdown on democracy in Hong Kong and Covid origins.

Putin, who wasn’t wearing any masks while being seated in the VIP area, was seen closing his eyes and sitting with his arms folded as the team from Russia’s neighbour entered the arena.

Also read | 'Example of dignified relationship': Ahead of Winter Olympic ceremony, Putin meets Xi in Beijing

However, he was soon wide awake by the time the Russian Olympic Committee arrived. Putin even waved and gestured to the Russian athletes as they marched around the stadium.

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Russian athletes have been banned for from participating in the Olympics from 2019 on doping charges.

As a result, Russian athletes are competing as the Russian Olympic Committee. Which means that the athletes cannot use their flag or national anthem played during the games.

Also read | Russia recognises Taiwan as part of China, opposes island's independence

Earlier in the day, Putin met China’s leader Xi Jinping, and signed a joint statement that called on NATO to rule out expansion in eastern Europe, denounced the formation of security blocs in the Asia Pacific region, and criticised the AUKUS trilateral security pact between the US, UK and Australia.

The two countries also pledged to step up cooperation to thwart “colour revolutions” and external interference and vowed to further deepen “back-to-back” strategic coordination.

(With inputs from agencies)

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