Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin announces social media movement supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has lengthy supported Russian President Vladimir Putin on social media, however Thursday afternoon, he took it a step additional with an Instagram submit, baderting the creation of a social motion in help of Putin that he’s labeling the Putin Team.

Личные награды и призы – все это здорово, но в хоккее, как и в любом деле, для победы важнее команда. Только команда способна переломить ход игры, сделать невозможное. В последнее время в западной прессе я встречаю сочетание Putin’s workforce, то есть команда Путина. И знаете, мне очень понравилось это определение. Лично я готов быть частью такой команды. Я никогда не скрывал своего отношения к нашему Президенту, всегда открыто его поддерживая. Я уверен, что нас, поддерживающих Владимира Путина, много! Так давайте объединимся и покажем всем сильную и сплоченную Россию! Сегодня я хочу объявить о том, что создаю общественное движение под названием Putin Team. Быть частью такой команды – для меня гордость, это похоже на ощущение, когда ты надеваешь майку сборной России, зная, что за тебя болеет вся страна. #putinteam

A submit shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

The Washington Post translated the caption as such:

“Personal achievements and medals – all of this nice, however in hockey, like with every thing, to win it’s necessary to have a workforce. Only a workforce is able to altering the course of a sport, obtain the unattainable. Lately, within the Western Press, I’m noticing a comparability to Putin’s workforce. And you realize, I actually appreciated that comparability. Personally, I’m able to be a member of that workforce. I by no means hid my relationship with our president, at all times overtly supported him.

“I’m sure that there are numerous of us that help Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and present everybody a powerful and united Russia. Today, I wish to announce a social motion within the identify of Putin Team. Be part of this workforce – to me it’s a privilege, it’s like the sensation of while you placed on the jersey of the Russian workforce, realizing that the entire nation is rooting for you.”

Russia will maintain a presidential election in March, and although Putin hasn’t formally introduced he’ll search re-election, he’s anticipated to hunt a brand new six-year time period. Putin enjoys an 80 % approval score and has run Russia for longer than anybody since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Under his rule, Moscow has been slapped with sanctions from the United States over its annexation of Crimea and tensions between the 2 nations are particularly excessive over Russia’s alleged interference within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Moscow is Ovechkin’s offseason dwelling, and he’s represented Russia in worldwide competitions all through his profession. When the NHL introduced that its gamers wouldn’t be allowed to take part in upcoming Winter Olympics, Ovechkin was essentially the most defiant of NHLers, vowing to play for Team Russia anyway. It wasn’t till the day earlier than the Capitals’ coaching camp opened that Ovechkin relented and admitted his 2018 Olympic dream was useless.

In a 2011 interview, Ovechkin admitted to being so near Putin that he had a “home number” for the president, and the 2 have been usually seen collectively this summer time. Putin gave Ovechkin and his spouse a marriage current and likewise known as the couple personally to congratulate them after they have been married in July. In June, Ovechkin attended a four-hour question-and-answer session of Putin’s that was broadcast on state TV. In August, the 2 have been seen hugging at a martial arts occasion in Sochi.

According to Russian information company TASS, Putin was not but conscious of Ovechkin’s social motion in help of him when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was reached for remark earlier this afternoon. In an interview with CNN World Sport proven earlier this yr, Ovechkin described himself as being politically “neutral.”

“I have a good relationship with Russians, and with Americans. So I’m neutral,” he stated.

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