Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron encouraging him to bar Russian athletes from competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics as the war rages on. The International Olympic Committee earlier this week reaffirmed that it will allow “neutral athletes” from Russia and Belarus to participate without representing their state.
“The International Olympic Committee’s attempt to get Russian athletes back to compete and participate in the Olympics is an attempt to tell the world that terror can allegedly be something acceptable,” Zelensky said during his nightly address Sunday.
He also reiterated his plea for Western nations to supply Ukraine with more potent weapons, including the Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, to help Kyiv defend against Russian attacks from places far from the front line. Kyiv has long argued that it needs the U.S.-made weapons to strike Russian targets in places such as Crimea — which have been used to launch missile and drone attacks across Ukrainian cities, with devastating effect. Washington has so far resisted Kyiv’s calls, concerned that providing Ukraine with a weapon capable of hitting targets inside Russia could escalate the nearly year-long conflict.
“We have to make time our weapon. We must speed up the events, speed up the supply and opening of new necessary weaponry options for Ukraine,” Zelensky said during his address.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
66,000 war crimes have been reported in Ukraine. It vows to prosecute them all. KYIV — More than 66,000 alleged war crimes have been reported to Ukrainian authorities since the Russian invasion began in February, according to Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General. The number is growing by hundreds every day as investigators fan out into areas retaken from the Russians and Ukrainians step up to lodge complaints, ranging from the theft of property to torture, murder, rape, the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and the relentless missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.
It’s a staggering number of cases, one that would overwhelm any judicial system anywhere, legal experts say. But Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin has vowed to investigate all of them and to bring to trial all those in which enough evidence can be gathered. President Volodymyr Zelensky has made justice for the victims of war crimes one of his conditions for eventual peace with Russia. The issue is as important for Ukraine as defeating the Russians militarily if Russia is to be deterred forever from attacking Ukraine, Kostin said.
“We have to win in both battles — in the fight for our territory and in the fight for justice,” he said in an interview.
The battle for justice could prove just as challenging as the fight for land.