Social media users are speculating as to whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had fallen asleep during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing after he was seen on camera with his eyes closed.
Putin could be seen on camera during NBC’s broadcast of the winter games sitting by himself and appearing to briefly doze off according to some onlookers as Ukrainian athletes joined the ceremony.
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Putin’s Russia is currently involved in a tense standoff along Ukraine’s border with many in the international community believing he has plans to invade the neighboring country, perhaps imminently.
Putin is the highest-profile guest at the Beijing Games following the decision by the U.S., Britain, and others not to send officials in protest of China’s human rights abuses and its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
Putin praised “unprecedented” close relations with China, in his opening remarks to Xi carried by Russian television.
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Relations “are developing in a progressive way with a spirit of friendship and strategic partnership,” Putin said. “They have indeed become unprecedented.”
Associated Press contributed to this report