World's top chess website stops displaying Russian, Belarusian flags
Chess.com, the world's most popular chess website, is not displaying both the Russian and Belarusian flags anymore.
Chess.com has stopped displaying the Russian and Belarusian flags of users from these countries, in response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
"We are not displaying Russian or Belarusian flags in broadcasts of any FIDE or prize events. On Chess.com, the Russian flag has been replaced with this flag [blue one]. The flag links to this article outlining present policy," the website said in a statement.
Some Russian and Belarusian players were also sanctioned by the global community. At the same time, the portal has not banned most users from these countries.
"Chess.com is not instituting a ban on all Russian or Belarusian players on our site and events. We believe it is counterproductive to isolate innocent Russian and Belarusian citizens from the global community. Participation in the global community is important to spreading the truth," the statement added.
The website also proposes to all players from Russia and Belarus signing an open letter in support of Ukraine and call for peace.
Read more: UEFA cancels Champions League in Russia, moves it to France
Russia's military operation led to a flood of sanctions by Western states against the country, banning Russian athletes from participating in international sports events. Even paraplegic Russian athletes were not safe from the inundating sanctions, dubbed by many as "hysterical".
Earlier, the EU countries sharing borders with Russia and Belarus have barred some vehicles registered in the two countries from entering due to sanctions, the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) said on Saturday.
The statement read, "Starting April 8, the customs services of the European Union countries bordering Russia and Belarus, citing the fifth sanctions package, stopped the admission of vehicles registered in these countries to the EU territory."
The customs service added that according to the current data, "the restrictions do not yet apply to road freight transport delivering pharmaceutical, medical, food and agricultural products, including wheat, as well as the delivery of energy, non-ferrous metals, and fertilizers."