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Rangers’ Artenmi Panarin takes denies abuse claims, says it’s a Putin lie

New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team after a hockey coach in his native Russia accused him of beating an 18-year-old woman in 2011, but the NHL star denies the claim and says he’s being targeted for criticizing President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, former NHL player and current Russian league (KHL) coach Andrei Nazarov said that Panarin physically assaulted the woman in the Latvian capital of Riga in 2011. A known Putin supporter, Nazarov now coaches Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, but previously worked with Panarin with the Moscow-area team, Vitayz, in 2011.

In a team statement, Panarin denied the accusation, which he likened to an ‘intimidation tactic.’

‘Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story,’ read the team statement. ‘This is clearly an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events.

‘Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.’

New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team after a hockey coach in his native Russia accused him of beating an 18-year-old woman in 2011, but the NHL star denies the claim and says he's being targeted for criticizing Vladimir Putin

New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team after a hockey coach in his native Russia accused him of beating an 18-year-old woman in 2011, but the NHL star denies the claim and says he’s being targeted for criticizing Vladimir Putin

Vladimiri Putin (left) pictured with Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin (right). Unlike Ovechkin, Panarin has been critical of Putin, and recently post a picture on Instagram in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Vladimiri Putin (left) pictured with Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin (right). Unlike Ovechkin, Panarin has been critical of Putin, and recently post a picture on Instagram in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Panarin is the most popular Russian hockey player to criticize Putin

Panarin is the most popular Russian hockey player to criticize Putin

Vladimiri Putin (far left, right) pictured with Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin (right). Unlike Ovechkin, Panarin has been critical of Putin, and recently post a picture on Instagram in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Panarin is the most popular Russian hockey player to criticize Putin

Panarin had called for opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be released in a January post

Panarin had called for opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be released in a January post

Panarin had called for opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be released in a January post 

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks first reported Panarin’s absence, noting that a primary concern is the safety of his family. Panarin’s grandparents still live in Russia. 

Unlike other popular Russian players, such as Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin, the 29-year-old Panarin has been critical of Putin, and recently post a picture on Instagram in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Speaking with YouTube channel Vsemu Golovin in 2019, Panarin attacked Putin directly.

‘The mistake in our society is treating him like a superhuman,’ Panarin said of Putin, as translated by Russian sports reporter Slava Malamud. ‘He is a regular person, like us, and he is serving us.’

On Monday, former NHL player and current Russian league  coach Andrei Nazarovn (pictured as a member of the Coyotes in 2004) said that Panarin physically assaulted the woman in the Latvian capital of Riga in 2011. A known Putin supporter, Nazarov now coaches Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, but previously worked with Panarin with the Moscow-area team, Vitayz, in 2011

On Monday, former NHL player and current Russian league  coach Andrei Nazarovn (pictured as a member of the Coyotes in 2004) said that Panarin physically assaulted the woman in the Latvian capital of Riga in 2011. A known Putin supporter, Nazarov now coaches Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, but previously worked with Panarin with the Moscow-area team, Vitayz, in 2011

On Monday, former NHL player and current Russian league  coach Andrei Nazarovn (pictured as a member of the Coyotes in 2004) said that Panarin physically assaulted the woman in the Latvian capital of Riga in 2011. A known Putin supporter, Nazarov now coaches Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, but previously worked with Panarin with the Moscow-area team, Vitayz, in 2011

Navalny is one of Putin’s biggest critics and was arrested in January upon returning to Russia after recently being poisoned and treated outside of the country. The 44-year-old attorney and activist has accused Putin of ordering his murder.

Ovechkin is a staunch supporter of Putin, who, according to US agencies, ordered interference into the 2016 election with the aim of hurting now-former President Donald Trump’s then-opponent, Hillary Clinton. 

The NHL veteran went so far as announce the start of a social movement he called ‘PutinTeam’ in a 2017 post on Instagram. 

‘Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of PutinTeam,’ Ovechkin wrote in the post, which featured a picture of him being embraced by Putin. ‘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.’

Ovechkin, one of the NHL’s most decorated players and a future Hall of Famer, has said his praise of Putin is somehow non-political, stressing that he hopes for better relations between the US and Russia.

Fans and reporters were quick to slam Nazarov’s claims on social media. 

The Panarin thing is clearly fabricated news that “broke” as retaliation because of his outspoken support for Navalny,’ wrote Rangers blogger, David Shapiro.  

Alexander Ovechkin started a social media movement, #PutinTeam, to support his president

Alexander Ovechkin started a social media movement, #PutinTeam, to support his president

Alexander Ovechkin started a social media movement, #PutinTeam, to support his president


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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