Russian hockey caught up by the army

Since President Vladimir Putin mobilized 300,000 Russian reservists on September 21 to deal with his military setbacks in Ukraine, cases of hockey players convicted of trying to evade conscription have multiplied. All Russians are deemed to do their military service between the ages of 18 and 27, and privileges are less and less tolerated by the authorities of a country from which more and more young men are trying to flee.

According to the state news agency TASS, Vladislav Lukin, player of Khanty-Mansiysk in VHL (the second League of the country), has just been sentenced by a court in Ufa to a fine of 2.2 million rubles (38,000 euros) for attempted corruption on an intermediary remunerated 4,000 euros to obtain false military documents.

“Athletes should feel honored (to be called to fight) »

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee

Lukin is the third hockey player to have been sentenced in recent weeks for this reason. Mikhail Vorobyov, center forward of Saint Petersburg, in the prestigious KHL, was fined 37,000 euros and Anvar Suleimanov, player of Feniks Kazan (Third Division) was sentenced to five years in prison suspended.

The most resounding case remains that of Ivan Fedotov, goalkeeper of the national Olympic silver medalist team last February in Beijing. Fedotov came into conflict with his army club CSKA Moscow, to whom he announced that he had signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, NHL, which he was to join for a training camp in July.

Anvar Suleimanov, player of the Feniks Kazan (Third Division), was given a five-year suspended prison sentence for trying to flee the country. (Karina Mamaeva)

Arrested by a group of men, some reportedly wearing hoods, in the parking lot of a St. the polar north of Russia.

He began legal proceedings in August, considering his arrest illegal since he was domiciled in Moscow and came under the Moscow authorities. But the player dropped his charges on September 20, the day before the mobilization.

In a country where ice hockey is king and where players were historically exempt from their military obligations as ambassadors of greater Russia, the case of star Fedotov, visibly enlisted in retaliation, has many champions of no longer be safe from anything.

Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has said there should be no more “exclusive privileges” for athletes and Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov is now claiming that “athletes should feel honoured” to be called upon to compete. to beat.

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