• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

Vladimir Putin Pretends To Be Asleep As Ukraine Winter Olympic Team Enter Beijing Stadium During Opening Ceremony

Published 
| Last updated 

Vladimir Putin Pretends To Be Asleep As Ukraine Winter Olympic Team Enter Beijing Stadium During Opening Ceremony

Vladimir Putin appeared to pretend to be asleep as the Ukrainian Winter Olympic team entered the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing during the opening ceremony of the games.

The Russian President, who currently has a large military force gathered on the border with Ukraine, closed his eyes and sat with his arms folded across his lap whilst the team from Russia’s neighbour entered the arena.

Putin was also pictured not wearing a mask, despite every other person in the VIP area covering their face.

Putin closed his eyes as the Ukraine team entered. Credit: BBC
Putin closed his eyes as the Ukraine team entered. Credit: BBC
Advert

The Winter Olympics in Beijing, the first city to stage both a summer and winter edition of the games, have been plagued by controversy, but until now it had largely centred on the country hosting the event.

Despite the criticism China has faced from human rights groups and other countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping was unsurprisingly given a standing ovation as he entered the arena ahead of the ceremony, during which around 3,000 performers took part.

Taiwan were announced as 'Chinese Taipei'. Credit: Alamy
Taiwan were announced as 'Chinese Taipei'. Credit: Alamy

Xi has been one of few world leaders to defend Putin’s actions over the conflict with Ukraine.

Advert

He signed a document that condemned America for its perceived influence in Europe, the expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the US government’s ‘negative impact on peace and stability’ in the Asia-Pacific region.

There was more controversy as the athletes competing from Taiwan were announced in the stadium as ‘Chinese Taipei’.

Taiwan has long held itself to be a self-governing and sovereign nation, but China views the small Asian country as a breakaway state and has threatened to ‘unify’ Taiwan with China through military force.

The Russian President waved as his country's team came in. Credit: Alamy
The Russian President waved as his country's team came in. Credit: Alamy
Advert

Putin was amongst a small handful of foreign dignitaries and world leaders that attended the impressive opening ceremony, with most staying away due to concerns over China’s record on human rights, as well as their persecution of Uyghur Muslims in the eastern province of Xinjiang.

Athletes from the countries with leaders that have boycotted have still attended the games.

A ‘select’ group of supporters and guests were allowed into the stadium for the opening ceremony due to strict Covid-19 restrictions, as China is still pursuing a ‘zero Covid’ strategy.

The general public in China are subject to heavy fines and even arrests for failure to wear a mask, and nearly 100 percent of people obey that rule.

Advert

Even President Xi was seen wearing a face covering as he watched the ceremony.

The games will unfold over the next 17 days, with 109 gold medals set to be handed out.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Sport, World News, Winter Olympics, China, Russia, Vladimir Putin

Tom Wood
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Entertainment

James Corden Updates Fans On Potential Return Of Gavin And Stacey

an hour ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Hocus Pocus 2 Trailer Has Just Dropped

5 hours ago