Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating (2023)

1:59 a.m. ET, March 31, 2023

Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Josh Pennington and Jennifer Deaton

Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating (1)

Ukraine has decided to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are competing for the Paris 2024 Games.

It comes after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach outlined new guidelines on Tuesday that would allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, paving the way for their participation.

In a televised interview on Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne on Thursday Oleh Nemchinov, the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, acknowledged that the decision means some Ukrainian athletes will miss their chance to participate in the Games.

"You know, I wouldn't wish it on anyone," he said, when he asked what will happen to the Ukrainian athletes. He added that while this decision might impact the athletes careers, ultimately "you and your children's lives will be saved."

"Yesterday, I attended another funeral of a good acquaintance of mine, who gave more than 20 years to athletics and died in the Kharkiv area. He left behind three children. He volunteered for his second war. And he wasn't a canteen cook, let's put it that way. That is, he was serving in combat units," Nemchinov said.

Ukrainian skeleton star and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympian Vladyslav Heraskevych told CNN on Wednesday that the IOC's decision to allow Russian and Belarussian athletes to participate in international competitions comes as "a slap in the face, not only to Ukrainian athletes but to all Ukraine and all Ukrainians."

But Heraskevych also told CNN that boycotting Paris 2024 Games should be up to athletes and that "athletes should decide their own road."

22 hr 30 min ago

Russia is set to lead the UN Security Council as shelling in Ukraine continues. Here's the latest from the front lines

From CNN Staff

Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating (2)

Russia will assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council Saturday as part of the position'sregularly scheduled rotationof countries, despitefierce criticismfrom many of the alliance's members over its invasion of Ukraine.

The United States and 44 other countries in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Thursday invoked a special mechanism to investigatealleged human rights violationsby Russia during its war in Ukraine, “particularly with regard to the forced transfer and deportation of children."

(Video) Ukraine threatens to boycott Paris Olympic Game if Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete

Here are the other latest developments:

  • American journalist detained: Wall Street Journal reporter and US national Evan Gershkovich wasdetained in Russiaon suspicion of "espionage" andplaced under arrestuntil May 29, according to a Moscow court Thursday. It is the first time an American journalist has been detained on accusations by Moscow of spying since the Cold War. The WSJ“vehemently denies"theKremlin's allegationsand is seeking his release. The White House condemned the arrest and the US State Department is in touch with Russia on the matter.
  • Explosions in Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv: On the ground in Ukraine, local monitoring groups reported late-nightexplosions in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia and urged residents to take shelter. Meanwhile, Russia fired at least six missiles at Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, Thursday night, according to the head of Kharkiv's regional military administration.
  • Russian assaults: The Ukrainian military said its units repelled nearly 50 Russian assaults across the front lines in the eastern Donetsk region Thursday – but there have been far fewer missile and air strikes than normal. Russian shelling has been centered around the embattled city of Bakhmut, as well as Avdiivka and Mariinka in Donetsk, and Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, the military said. A top US general saying the battle for Bakhmut has turned into a "slaughter house" for Russians.
  • Ukraine's training: More than 7,000 Ukrainian troops have received training by United States forces since the beginning of Russia’s invasion last year, according to the Pentagon. More than 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers will have completed combined arms training in Germany at the end of this month, the Pentagon said.
  • Finland's NATO membership: Turkey’s parliamentunanimously approved Finland’s accession to NATOafter a vote Thursday, clearing the path for the Nordic country to become the 31st NATO member. The Turkish parliament vote was the last major hurdle facing Finland’s bid to join the alliance.
  • Sanctions: President Vladimir Putinhas concededthat Western sanctions designed tostarve the Kremlin of fundsfor its invasion of Ukraine could deal a blow toRussia’s economy. It is a rare admission by the Russian leader, who has repeatedly insisted that his country's economy remains resilient.
  • Delegation to North Korea: Russia aims to send a delegation to North Korea as part of the Kremlin'songoing effortto acquire more weapons from Pyongyang, according to a spokesperson for the US National Security Council. Allegedarms dealer Ashot Mkrtychevis at the center of this latest effort by Russia to circumvent Western sanctions and export controls over its invasion of Ukraine, said John Kirby, the NSC strategic communications coordinator.
1:34 a.m. ET, March 31, 2023

An American journalist was arrested in Russia. Here's what to know to get up to speed

From CNN staff

Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating (3)

Wall Street Journal reporter and US national Evan Gershkovich wasdetained in Russiaon suspicion of "espionage" andplaced under arrestuntil May 29, according to a Moscow court Thursday.It comes amid a crackdown in Russia on independent journalists and foreign news outlets in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

The US State Department is tasked with officially determining if Americans are detained wrongfully abroad.

Here's what we know so far:

  • What happened: The Russian intelligence agency, the FSB,said Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains "while trying to obtain secret information" relating to "the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”The Wall Street Journal, which has had a decades-long presence in Moscow, has categorically rejected those allegations.
  • Some background: It is the first time an American journalist has been detained on accusations by Moscow of spying since the Cold War, and comes a week after US authorities arrested Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, who they accused of being a Russian spy and was indicted in federal court. The Kremlin did not comment when asked if Gershkovich’s arrest was a tit-for-tat move for Cherkasov's arrest. Detentions of other Americans, including Paul Whelan, have led to lengthy and difficult negations between Washington and Moscow.
  • Russia's response: Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the arrest was a "prerogative of the FSB." In a call with reporters,he added: "As far as we know, he wascaught red-handed." The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs routinely makes baseless claims about the work and motives of foreign journalists in Russia.
  • United States' response: The US has condemned the detainment, saying it is "deeply concerned." The State Department has been directly in touch with the Russian government, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. The US Embassy in Moscow has formally requested consular access — something officials say is a priority for Gershkovich's well-being and to collect more information.
  • Reaction: Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker told staff in a memo Thursday she was "very concerned" for the reporter's safety. Almar Latour —the chief executive of Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal —said the safety of journalists is his top priority and that the company is working "around the clock" to secure Gershkovich's release. The New York Times said in a statement it is "deeply concerned” by the arrest and called for his immediate release.
10:12 p.m. ET, March 30, 2023

Explosions reported in Zaporizhzhia as Ukrainian official urges residents to take shelter

From CNN's Yulia Kasaieva in Kyiv

Local monitoring groups reported two explosions in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia just after midnight local time Friday (5 p.m. ET Thursday).

As sirens blared in the city, the Ukrainian Secretary of the Zaporizhzhia City Council Anatolii Kurtiev urged residents on Telegram to immediately head to shelters and stay there.

(Video) Russians allowed to participate – the Western countries should boycott the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The head of a Russian-installed governing council in occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia region also reported explosions.

“It’s loud in Zaporizhzhia!” the Russia-backed official, Vladimir Rogov, said on his Telegram channel.

Rogov said “several explosions were heard in the regional center."

10:12 p.m. ET, March 30, 2023

Ukraine condemns Russia's impending UN Security Council presidency

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva

Despite fierce criticism from many of the alliance's members over its invasion of Ukraine, Russia will assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council Saturday as part of the position's regularly scheduled rotation of countries.

In condemning Russia's assumption of the post, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba noted Saturday is April 1, and called it the worst kind of "April Fool’s Day joke."

Kuleba made the remarks Thursday in a conversation hosted by the policy institute Chatham House.

"The country which systematically violates all fundamental rules of international security is presiding over a body whose only mission is to safeguard and protect international security,” Kuleba said.

The foreign minister downplayed Moscow's ability to wield significant power during the course of its presidency, though.

“I don't think Russia will be able to change the balance inside the UN Security Council during its presidency. It will try to abuse its rights of the presidency to push its own narratives, but I doubt they will be able to secure the sufficient number of votes to make the council adopt decisions,” Kuleba continued.

The foreign minister also said he expects the other members of the UNSC, both permanent and non-permanent, to “corner Russia as much as they can within existing procedures and rules during its presidency, not allow it to abuse the UNSC rules and to continue pushing the narratives which tell the truth about this war that Russia is conducting.”

Why this is happening: The presidency of the Security Council is held by each member in turn for one month, following the English alphabetical order of the member states' names. The council requires consensus to adopt most decisions, regardless of which country sits at the head of its meetings. You can read more about how it functions here.

(Video) Russians and Belarussians should not be allowed at the Paris Olympics: Ukrainian position
9:17 p.m. ET, March 30, 2023

Turkey approves Finland’s NATO application, clearing the last hurdle. Sweden is still waiting

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

Turkey has finally approvedFinland’s applicationto join NATO, putting an end to months of delays while also continuing to block Sweden from joining the military alliance.

The Turkish Parliament voted unanimously in favor of Finland’s membership on Thursday, clearing the last hurdle in the accession process.

The vote fulfills Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “promise” to allow Finland in the defense alliance. Turkey was the last NATO member to approve Finland’s accession, although Hungary only did so on Monday.

In a statement after the vote, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said his country is “now ready to join NATO.”

“All 30 NATO members have now ratified Finland’s membership. I want to thank every one of them for their trust and support,” he also said. “Finland will be a strong and capable ally, committed to the security of the Alliance.”

“We look forward to welcoming Sweden to join us as soon as possible,” the Finnish president added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also hailed the decision. “I welcome the vote of the Grand National Assembly of #Türkiye to complete the ratification of #Finland’s accession. This will make the whole #NATO family stronger & safer,” Stoltenberg said in a tweet.

Read more here.

12:58 a.m. ET, March 31, 2023

WSJ editor tells staff she is "very concerned" for safety of reporter arrested in Russia

From CNN's Oliver Darcy

Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker told staff in a memo Thursday that she was “very concerned” for the safety of Russia-based reporterEvan Gershkovich, who was arrestedWednesday by security forces in the city of Yekaterinburg.

“I am very sorry to let you know you that one of our reporters Evan Gershkovich was yesterday detained outside Moscow according to a statement put out by the Russian security services,” Tucker wrote in a memo to newspaper staff at 5:11 am ET and later obtained by CNN.

“We are very concerned for the safety of Evan and will keep you informed of the situation.”

(Video) Putin to the West: ‘Let's stop being enemies’ | USA TODAY #Shorts

Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage, the first time a US journalist has been detained on accusations by Moscow of spying since the Cold War.

In a statement, the Wall Street Journal said it “vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich.”

“We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family,” the newspaper said. A person familiar tells CNN that the Journal is in contact with the family about the matter.

Read more here.

1:59 a.m. ET, March 31, 2023

IOC president calls governments "deplorable" for negative reactions to Russia stance

From CNN's Jill Martin

Ukraine to boycott Olympic qualifying events in which Russians are participating (4)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidentThomas Bachhas blasted some European governments as “deplorable” for what he calls their “negative reactions” to the organization’sstance on Russia.

Bach’s comments came in a press conference Thursday on the final day of a three-day meeting by the IOC’s executive board at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland. He didn’t name the countries he was specifically referencing in his opening remarks.

“It is deplorable to see that some governments do not want to respect the majority within the Olympic movement and of all the stakeholders, nor the autonomy of the sport which they are appraising and requesting from other countries in countless speeches, UN resolutions, European Union declarations and at every other opportunity,” Bach said.

It had been announced Tuesday that a decision had not been made on whether athletes with aRussian or Belarusianpassport would be eligible to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, and that remained the case on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the executive board also issued a recommendation to international federations and sports event organizers with six points, which included having athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport compete as neutrals, while athletes who “actively support the war” cannot compete.

Read more here.

(Video) Ukraine Olympic chief on possible Paris 2024 boycott


1. Russia Punished & Media Shocked by Invasion in “Relatively Civilized” Ukraine | The Daily Show
(The Daily Show)
2. Russian Athletes Are Doing Well, While Ukrainians Are Dying – Interview With a Ukrainian Olympian
3. How Satellite Images Reveal What’s Happening in Ukraine
4. CBC News: The National | Troops move into Ukraine, Russia sanctioned, N.S. shooting inquiry
(CBC News: The National)
5. ‘Isolation speaks louder’: Klitschko calls for Russian Olympic ban
(Sky News Australia)
6. Innocent Russians Suffer Due To War With Ukraine
(The Young Turks)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

Last Updated: 06/10/2023

Views: 5941

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

Birthday: 1994-08-17

Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

Phone: +8524399971620

Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.