Sport violates human rights: Vladimir Putin’s cynical champagne gala

Sport violates human rights
Vladimir Putin’s cynical champagne gala

By Tobias Nordman

Vladimir Putin is doing an extremely disturbing show together with selected Russian Olympic heroes in the Kremlin. The message of the event to the world: The president does not care. And he even becomes cynical in his remarks. Incomprehensible.

Vladimir Putin is actually talking about human rights violations. While waging a brutal war of aggression. While thousands of innocent civilians in Ukraine are dying in pain. Through its bombs, bombs with internationally banned ammunition. Through brutal massacres of his barbaric soldiers. Through starvation, which he has used as a deadly weapon in the besieged city of Mariupol.

“Our athletes have been discriminated against for deeply political reasons, based on their citizenship and nationality,” the Russian president said. Yes. Vladimir Putin is actually talking about human rights violations. Compared to the athletes in his country, who are excluded from almost all competitions by many international associations. As a very desperate pressure against the brutal and unrestrained actions of the Russian president. And now, as he pays tribute to athletes, he is referring to the relevant United Nations charter, whose urgent appeals for peace and prudence are rushing somewhere.

He said: “The exclusion of the athletes from Russia and Belarus has not only violated the fundamental principles of the sport, but also openly and cynically violates the fundamental rights established by the UN in their 1948 human rights charter.”

It does not get more cynical. And if the trial was not absurd enough in itself, the 69-year-old pampers himself with a small glass of champagne along with selected heroes from the Olympic Games in Beijing – they are awarded the Order of the Fatherland. You can not give a bigger kick in the back in a tense world. A more remarkable statement for his completely eccentric worldview is not possible.

Love for Putin

His foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is considering the danger of World War III. His defense ministry has threatened Britain with bombs against London and Western politicians with attacks if they travel to the capital Kyiv because of its pro-Ukrainian rhetoric. The list of wild and uncontrolled attacks can go on almost indefinitely. And Putin paints a bizarre unfair world scenario that violates the basic principles of the sport. He no longer understands the world he has turned against him.

It is, of course, legitimate to quarrel over whether the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes (because the country is on Putin’s side in the war) is an appropriate and fair means. Whether the pressure from athletes can help deprive Putin of popular support and persuade him to abandon his warlord. And there are also athletes who have positioned themselves very clearly against the “special operation” in Ukraine. Others do not think it is possible because of the threat of oppression of themselves or their families. But there are also those who support Putin’s course.

Like cross-country skier Weronika Stepanova, one of the loudest complaints about the ban on athletes, who has now revealed her position. At the Kremlin gala, she said: “In my eyes, Russia has become strong, proud and successful again. It is clear that not everyone in the world likes it. But we are on the right track and we will definitely win, just as we did at the Olympics won games. ” She then thanked Putin for holding up the Russian flag and said, “We will not fail.”

Valiyeva celebrates his birthday

How much free or forced conviction there is in these sentences cannot be tested. But it is no secret that athletes are repeatedly used for political purposes. So skating prodigy Kamila Valiewa was introduced again. It was broken in the tension between the starter and the positive doping test in the individual freestyle – including ice-cold scolding from her trainer. The world was shocked and worried that the 16-year-old would become one of those “one-time kids” who can not achieve the sporting ideal to the maximum – and is no longer needed.

But Putin verbally hugged the timidly smiling girl and defended her against outside attacks. Against the attacks of the unjust world, which almost collectively conspired against Russia. Against the attacks of the annoying doping hunters. Valiyeva said thank you: “It is a great honor for me to receive a state award from the President of the Russian Federation on my 16th birthday. Thank you for loving sports and supporting athletes – it is very important to us.”

And Putin followed suit. Took the attacks on the prodigy as an opportunity to free her in her own world. “The level of perfection like Kamilas cannot be achieved dishonestly, even with drugs and manipulation,” he said. Instead, it is “very well known” that doping in figure skating offers no benefits.

Another absurdity of this bizarre gala is that Putin of all people is blabbering on about illegal drugs, as Russia was later excluded as a nation from the World Cup and the Olympics for years due to state-orchestrated doping at the home games in Sochi. But that is not the end of the story.

At a meeting with sports officials, given Russia’s ban on almost all international competitions, Putin called for organizing their own games and including foreign participants. He also criticized the Russian team’s performance at the Winter Games. The self-imposed goals were not achieved. Which parallels the war in Ukraine. Sorry it’s cynical.

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