By Neil Shefferd |
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a statement saying it strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian Government.
The Olympic Truce started seven days before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and runs until seven days after the conclusion of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics – March 20.
It calls on countries to build a “peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal.”
The Olympic Truce is inspired by the “Ekecheiria”, an action which called for a halt to fighting during the Olympic Games of antiquity.
Russian forces today launched a military assault on Ukraine with reports of missile strikes and explosions near to major cities.
The Beijing 2022 Olympic Truce was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December.
The IOC said it was “deeply concerned” about the safety of the Olympic community in Ukraine, and says a task force has been established to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic community in the country.
During a speech at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony IOC President Thomas Bach called on political authorities to “observe your commitment to this Olympic Truce and give peace a chance.”
He reiterated this message during the Closing Ceremony when he asked political leaders “to be inspired” by the “example of solidarity and peace” set by the Olympic athletes.
Russia has breached Olympic Truces previously, as in 2008 troops from Russia and Georgia clashed in disputed territory South Ossetia on the day of the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony, while in 2014 Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine during a military operation that lasted during the Sochi 2014 Olympics and Paralympics.
There are reports that the International Paralympic Committee is in dialogue with the Russian and Ukrainian Paralympic Committees, with the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics set to begin on March 4.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.