‘Collaborators and traitors’: Russia goes to war with Winter Olympics ban

The outraged Russian reaction to the IOC’s decision has been fuelled by comparisons with the great national triumph in the second world war

On sulphurous television chat shows this week, Russian athletes considering competing under a neutral flag at the upcoming Winter Olympics were compared to wartime collaborators and traitors. The second world war was evoked repeatedly. “Try telling them that the flag isn’t important,” wrote one Kremlin-friendly journalist on Twitter, alongside a photograph of Red Army soldiers lifting the Soviet flag above the Reichstag in 1945.

Related: Proxy battles by the US and Russia are taking sport back to the 1930s | Richard Williams

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