The International Olympic Committee harshly criticised Russia Thursday for violating an “Olympic Truce” with its attack on Ukraine, and said it was coordinating humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian athletes where possible.
Hours after Moscow began invading its pro-Western neighbour, the IOC said in a statement that it “strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government.”
It pointed out that all 193 UN member states had agreed last December to a global truce beginning seven days before the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing on February 4 and ending seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games on March 13.
But in the early hours Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, killing dozens and forcing hundreds to flee for their lives.
“Today, IOC President Thomas Bach reiterates his call for peace, which he expressed in his speeches at the opening Ceremony and the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games,” it said.
The IOC also said that “following recent events,” it was “deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic Community in Ukraine.”
The organisation, it said, had “established a task force to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible.”