Russia supports Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime in Syria, and members of its Olympic Committee are profiting from it.

Vladimir Lisin, Russian steel tycoon and vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee who has delivered arms to Syria.

This post originally appeared on OpEdNews.

Typically, the Olympic Games are an opportunity for the international community to come together by promoting peace and preserving human dignity through sport. But this year’s Games run the risk of being tarnished by a Russian Olympic official who has been enabling the Syrian regime.

Russia’s richest man, a steel tycoon named Vladimir Lisin, has been helping supply Russian-made arms to the Syrian government responsible for slaughtering thousands of its own people. According to news reports, just one day after the Houla massacre, one of Lisin’s ships reached Syria’s second largest port to offload an alleged shipment of weapons from St. Petersburg.

The Russian government has rewarded Lisin’s loyalty with a top position on their Olympic Committee. And as the families in Syria continue to live in terror amid falling bombs and sniper fire, Lisin is traveling to London to participate in the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

Over 19,000 people have been killed in Syria and the violence intensifies every day. A protracted civil war in Syria now seems inevitable, which will undoubtedly lead to the loss of many more civilian lives. In fact, the situation in Syria is now officially being called a civil war by the International Red Cross.

Yet, Russia continues to support Assad’s murderous regime — recently vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution that would support negotiations — and people like Lisin are profiting from it.

The multi-billion dollar arms trade between Russia and Syria has been well exposed in recent months. In 2011, the Russian government provided over $1 billion in weapons to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and over recent weeks attempted to ship attack helicopters and munitions to the Syrian military.

The profits that Lisin has made are now tarnishing Russia’s gold at the Olympics. The oligarch is offering $1 million as reward to every Russian athlete who wins gold at the 2012 games. While the aim of prize money is to inspire gold medal success, it will leave those achievements with a bloody tarnish.

Keeping Lisin from attending the games will add to the much-needed international pressure against Russia and the arms dealers enabling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. We must insist that those who enable Syria’s continued attacks on its own men, women and children pay a price.

It should be made clear to the London Organizing Committee: There is no room at this year’s Games for individuals who enable mass atrocities for their own financial gain.

Together we will stop the deadly flow of arms into Syria by exposing unscrupulous weapons dealers like Vladimir Lisin.

  • Timo Koskinen

    Just a few words about this:
    Please let these olympics alone and stop the whole boycott stuff, because USA, UK and Israel are as (actually more) guilty for genocides, arm trading and killing civilians, than Russia ever.
    Once there was a peaceful nation of Palestine. After and while “the allies” and the jews made a huge genocide of these Palestinians (1930’s to 1940’s and on till today), the state of Israel was done quietly (47-48) and we shalt not care! Holocaust done in WW-II as a genocide killed 6-7 millions of Orthodox Christians, not many Jews at all!
    Our all eyes were intentionally turned towards the biggest, and most painful genocide of all times – towards the Japanese people of Hiroshima and Nagasagi – using Jews-planned, US-launched two A-Bombs over peaceful civilians, without a mercy – actually many are still “proud of it”.
    This made the Jews first time in the history of men greater, then their “Lords” in Sodom and Gomorrah over 3000 years ago. (It was also a huge civilian genocide then) …
    These all remain unmentioned and unmanaged today, because it is “Anti-Semitism or Anti-Zionism” to talk this way. I don’t know what is Semitism and Zionism then, but i guess it’s all this, what i mentioned and the plan to keep us favoring “righteous” killers over the most cold-blooded murderous ones.
    Heil to Obama, UN and his “peace-price” for genocide in Afganistan and maybe soon in Iran too! Are you guys there working to the soon coming Jews world-government or are you just all blinded?

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