Kremlin hails Alex Ovechkin for starting pro-Putin group

MOSCOW (AP) — Alex Ovechkin’s new “social movement” to badist President Vladimir Putin acquired Kremlin backing Friday.

The Washington Capitals captain mentioned Thursday on Instagram he was beginning a bunch referred to as Putin Team to “show everyone a strong and united Russia.” Ovechkin added that he has by no means hidden his emotions about Putin and has “always supported him openly.”

The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18. Putin hasn’t confirmed he’ll run for a fourth time period, however is broadly anticipated to take action.

“We obviously welcome in general Sasha’s desire to express support for our president, especially from abroad,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned, referring to Ovechkin.

FILE - In this May 29, 2012, file photo, Russian national ice hockey team member Alexander Ovechkin, right, holds a certficate of recognition given to him by President Vladimir Putin, left, in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has voiced his support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the upcoming Russian presidential elections. Ovechkin posted a message in Russian on his Instagram account Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017,  announcing he’s starting “a social movement called Putin Team.” From right in the background are Russian ice hockey federation president Vladislav Tretyak and Russia's captain Ilya Nikulin. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool, File)

FILE – In this May 29, 2012, file picture, Russian nationwide ice hockey crew member Alexander Ovechkin, proper, holds a certficate of recognition given to him by President Vladimir Putin, left, within the Novo-Ogaryovo residence exterior Moscow. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has voiced his badist for Vladimir Putin forward of the upcoming Russian presidential elections. Ovechkin posted a message in Russian on his Instagram account Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, baderting he’s beginning “a social movement called Putin Team.” From proper within the background are Russian ice hockey federation president Vladislav Tretyak and Russia’s captain Ilya Nikulin. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool, File)

Peskov added that Ovechkin is “a very famous Russian, a very successful Russian, and we really know that he values our president highly.”

Ovechkin, talking after the Capitals’ recreation in opposition to the New York Islanders on Thursday, mentioned he did not imply his submit as a political gesture, however as an indication of Russian patriotism.

He hasn’t mentioned what precisely the motion will do or how it will likely be organized.

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, chases the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Washington. The Capitals won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wbad)

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (eight), of Russia, chases the puck in opposition to New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) throughout the third interval of an NHL hockey recreation, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Washington. The Capitals received Four-Three. (AP Photo/Nick Wbad)

Putin is a hockey fan who takes to the ice for annual televised exhibitions video games utilizing the branding of the NHL — although in that case it stands for “Night Hockey League.” Putin performs alongside former star gamers and authorities officers, and recurrently scores a number of objectives, although his opponents appear reluctant to problem him for the puck.

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