US: Winter Olympics likely to Impact Putin's Military Planning in Ukraine
Ahead of the Winter Olympics that is set to begin on February 4 in Beijing, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Wednesday (local time) suggested that the Olympics could affect Russian President Vladimir Putin's calculations over a possible invasion of Ukraine.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that the Winter Olympics in Beijing could impact Putin's thinking about potential military action, noting at a virtual European think tank event Wednesday that she thinks Chinese President Xi Jinping “would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine,” CNN reported.
The Beijing Olympics will kick-off at the beginning of February and Putin plans to attend that, Sherman noted.
There's some history involving Russia's military action and the Olympics. Russia's invasion of Crimea occurred in 2014 just as the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, were wrapping up. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia during the Summer Olympics in Beijing, CNN reported.
The Biden administration has been warning that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent as Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine.
According to CNN, the Pentagon on Monday announced up to 8,500 troops were placed on heightened alert for a possible deployment to Eastern Europe to support NATO countries amid Russia's escalation.
On Monday, China's foreign ministry denied a report that it might have asked Putin not to further invade Ukraine during the Winter Olympics, CNN reported.
The Winter Olympics are set to begin on February 4 and run until February 20. Several countries, including the US, have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Games, pointing to rights abuses in China.
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