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Ovechkin Starts 'Putin Team' Social Movement to Back Kremlin Leader

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Alex Ovechkin and Vladimir Putin go way back. Russia's president has long politicized the NHL star as an icon for pro-Kremlin patriotism, and Ovechkin repays the support in kind by excelling on the ice in the country's national pastime, especially on the international stage.


In a strong endorsement for Putin, the Capitals captain penned an Instagram post Thursday intended to start a social movement in the name of "a strong and united Russia" as the country readies for a presidential election in 2018.



Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba_72RJBE8h/


The Washington Post translated the text from Russian to English.


?Personal achievements and medals ? all of this great, but in hockey, like with everything, to win it?s important to have a team. Only a team is capable of changing the course of a game, achieve the impossible. Lately, in the Western Press, I?m noticing a comparison to Putin?s team. And you know, I really liked that comparison. Personally, I?m ready to be a member of that team.


"I never hid my relationship with our president, always openly supported him. I?m certain that there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let?s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team ? to me it?s a privilege, it?s like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you.?



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