The International Olympic Committee condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, citing a breach of the Olympic Truce by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.
The Olympic Truce was a United Nations resolution that was adopted in December, stating that no country should carry out an act of aggression on another from seven days before the start of an Olympic Games to seven days after the conclusion of the Paralympic Games.
It’s a concept that was revived from ninth century Ancient Greece when the signing of a treaty between three warring kings — Iphitos of Elis, Cleosthenes of Pisa, and Lycurgus of Sparta — ensuring that all athletes and spectators will be able to participate safely during the Olympics.
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing concluded on Sunday and the Paralympics will run from March 4-13.
“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,” a statement from the Olympics read. “At the Opening Ceremony, he called on the political authorities ‘Observe your commitment to this Olympic Truce. Give peace a chance.’
“At the Closing Ceremony, he asked the political leaders ‘to be inspired by the ‘example of solidarity and peace’ set by the Olympic athletes.”
Russia launched missile strikes and sent troops across the Ukrainian border early Thursday morning while threatening the United States and other NATO allies that attempt to intervene. At least 40 Ukrainian soldiers have been declared dead.
“The IOC is deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic Community in Ukraine,” the statement continued. “It has established a task force to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible.”