Moment Russian ice hockey star is forcibly enlisted in Putin’s army after signing $1.1m NHL deal
A Russian ice hockey star who signed a million-dollar contract with an American team was arrested yesterday by plainclothes Russian police officers and taken to an army service before he is expected to be sent to fight in Ukraine.
Olympian Ivan Fedotov, 25, was reportedly rushed into Putin’s army after being filmed being held by a team of officers outside an ice rink in St. Petersburg.
The charge of “draft dodging” is seen as revenge for his signing to play for NHL team the Philadelphia Flyers.
The top keeper and Olympic silver medalist signed a deal worth $1.1 million (£900,000) last month.
Fedotov used to be with CSKA, a club in the capital that has close ties to the Russian military. The name translates to Central Sports Club of the Army.
Fontanka news outlet reported that he could now be sent to the Russian military instead of the US, but he could also be jailed for alleged evasion of conscription.
Russian national goalkeeper Fedotov had signed a contract with NHL side the Philadelphia Flyers
Olympic silver medalist could face potential Ukraine stake after ‘draft dodging’
“He has just been arrested ‘because he has fled the army,'” said Russian journalist Dmitry Navosha.
Fedotov has been pictured collecting KHL’s Goalkeeper of the Year award last season
Fedotov – who is six feet tall and one of the best players of the Russian and Chinese KHL league – “didn’t know that [the USSR] is back,” he added.
The player has made public his intention to play in the NHL.
The operation appears to be a deliberate attempt to thwart him.
Video shows the moment he was detained on Friday at the ice rink in St. Petersburg.
He was at the recruiting office late at night before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
A woman tried to get into the ambulance but was pushed back. It is believed that this was his mother.
Fedotov’s current whereabouts are unknown.
The man in charge of Russian ice hockey is Roman Rotenberg, son of oligarch and Putin friend Boris.
Both men are sanctioned by the US for their ties to Putin, as is Roman’s uncle, Arkady Rotenberg.
Disturbing footage showed Fedotov confronting police outside an ice rink in St. Petersburg yesterday
Fedotov was photographed being taken in a police car. His current whereabouts are now unknown
A source told Fontanka that the military prosecutor’s office believed that “there are sufficient reasons to consider Fedotov an army evader.”
Despite being born in Finland and raised in Russia, the fact that he played for CSKA meant he was considered a soldier, a report said.
Technically, all Russian men up to the age of 28 can be drafted, although few sons of the elite serve in the military and even fewer have been sent to fight in Ukraine.
Fedotov is the goalkeeper of the Russian national team.
The move has been interpreted as an attempt to punish Fedotov for signing an NHL contract
A man collects his belongings from his home in Siversk, near Donetsk ., yesterday
If he refuses to serve, he can go to jail.
A source told Fontanka: “Nothing prevents even tomorrow from sending hockey player Fedotov to the army.”
As a conscript, he should theoretically not be sent to fight in what Putin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Yet there are records of conscripts as young as 18 years old being sent to fight.
Men up to the age of 49 are now being conscripted as the Russian armed forces are running out of steam.
A few residents of Bakhmut, Donetsk take photos of a crater left by a Russian missile attack, July 1.
Inspectors yesterday assess damage in Segiyvka near Odessa, which killed 21 people
A man on a bicycle watches smoke rise from yesterday’s explosion in Siversk, Ukraine
The latest Russian rocket attack on a civilian building in Ukraine has killed at least 21 people, including two children and injured dozens.
A nine-storey apartment building in Odessa was attacked by a rocket overnight.
It is only the latest Russian airstrike on a civilian target in Ukraine, after the Kremenchuk shopping center was attacked on Monday – killing at least 20 – and an apartment building in Mykolaiv on Wednesday – killing at least eight.
Ukraine says Russia is deliberately targeting civilians as part of a “terror campaign” to distract from the failed invasion, an accusation Putin denies.
A handout photo by the Ukrainian army shows damaged buildings hit by Russian bombs in the east
The attack on Odessa — believed to be carried out by a Russian Tu-22 bomber — came just hours after Putin’s forces withdrew from Snake Island, about 90 miles out to sea from the main port city.
Russian troops were forced to withdraw from the 100-acre headland after heavy fire from Ukrainian artillery and anti-ship missile batteries.
Moscow tried to portray the withdrawal as a “goodwill gesture,” the same wording it used when it had to withdraw from Kiev and Chernihiv earlier in the war.