Yesterday, we pointed out the fish from History of Artemi Panarin. While any history of domestic violence / sexual assault deserves a deeper look, the circumstances surrounding it did not add up from the beginning. One, the claim came from an avowed political enemy of Panarin in former coach Andrei Nazarov, not from the victim himself. Given the political alignments of all the parties, and what happens to Vladimir Putin’s outspoken critics, whether by Putin himself or his cronies, it all deserved a somewhat outrageous look. The fact that the details were vague didn’t help their cause, and neither did some of the facts that didn’t match.
That seems to be the case even more today. Slava Malamud, who is everything when it comes to news about Russian hockey players or Russian hockey, has a couple of threads that describe the problems in the story and some new details today that undermine its stability.
Details that don’t line up (Panarin’s teammates criticize the claims, the wrong currency is mentioned, and the team’s travel schedule doesn’t line up with Nazarov’s story) seem to fall behind the fact that Nazarov is a madman insane. . It sounds like it’s the Russian version of Don Cherry, except instead of being limited to seven minutes of TV time per week like Cherry was, Nazarov has tapped into his popularity and bellicose delivery in real jobs and influence as a coach.
As well, reporters in Latvia I can’t seem to find any police or hotel workers for the night in question to corroborate the story. It should also be noted that the tabloid in which Nazarov’s story appeared, Komsomolskaya Pravda, has a reputation as a rag of state support for the truly lost. Highlights from the past include a front-page story that The United States Was Responsible For The Charlie Hebdo Shooting. The most reputable newspapers in the country would not publish the story for lack of credibility.
This is far from over as Panarin was fired for some reason, though it is likely due to fear for his family in Russia. Nazarov does not appear to be the type to retract anything, nor does the tabloid that published it.