This is how he reacted to the invasion of Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin looked a little sleepy at the Olympic opening ceremony – when Ukraine arrived. © Alexei Druzhinin / picture alliance

The first excitement at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing: Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted in a special way to the invasion of the Ukrainian athletes.

Beijing – It was the moment many had been waiting for at the Olympic Games opening ceremony: the entry of Ukraine’s athletes into the “Bird’s Nest” national stadium in Beijing, and how Russian President Vladimir Putin would react to it. After all, Putin is one of the few heads of state to attend the games. The Ukraine conflict threatens to escalate into full-scale war. And what does Putin do? He’s sleeping.

Or at least he pretended. Was that intentional, a provocation? The maskless Russian ruler – despite the strict Chinese corona rules – apparently chose exactly this point in time to briefly close his eyes in front of the whole world. The picture immediately went around the world.

So wrote about the British Daily Mail: “Vladimir Putin pretended to be asleep when the Ukrainian athletes arrived at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing – a highly dramatic political moment, as the threat of war looms heavy over the Games.”

Olympia 2022: “The action could have been symbolic”

The US broadcaster NBC commented on the scene: “Did Vladimir Putin doze off at the opening ceremony? The action could have been symbolic.”

Both Chinese and Russian decisions caused a stir before and during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics (schedule). Putin and China’s head of state Xi Jinping signed a joint paper in which they oppose the expansion of NATO.

At the ceremony, athletes from Taiwan also had to appear as “Chinese Taipei” – China does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and regards it as a breakaway Chinese province. (cg)

He traveled to Beijing for the Olympic Games – but now he’s stuck in a quarantine hotel. Claus Lufen reports on his corona isolation in China.

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