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Russian Ice Hockey Star Ivan Fedotov Detained For Dodging Military Draft After NHL Deal

Russian Ice Hockey Star Ivan Fedotov Detained For Dodging Military Draft After NHL Deal

He recently signed for the Philadelphia Flyers but he has now been detained in Russia

A Russian hockey player has been detained in his home country for 'evading the army', according to Russian news outlets.

Goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov recently signed for NHL side Philadelphia Flyers, but he was arrested outside an ice arena in St. Petersburg and taken 'to the military registration and enlistment office', according to a report by Russian online newspaper Fontanka.

Watch footage of the arrest here:

The man in charge of Russian ice hockey is Roman Rotenberg, son of Putin's close crony, oligarch Boris Rotenberg. Both men are sanctioned by the US over their links to Putin, as is Roman's uncle Arkady Rotenberg.

A source told Fontanka that the military prosecutor's office believed 'there are sufficient grounds to consider Fedotov an army evader', despite the fact the 25-year-old was born in Finland.

Technically, all Russian males up to the age of 28 can be called up, though few sons of the elite serve in the army, and fewer still have been sent to fight in Ukraine. 

Fedotov is the national team goalie, and he helped the Russian Olympic Committee team to silver at the Beijing Winter Games earlier this year. However, if he refuses to serve in the army, he could face jail. 

A source told Fontanka: "Nothing prevents even tomorrow sending hockey player Fedotov to the army."

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Fedetov was reportedly detained yesterday (Friday 1 July) - the same day that the American basketball star Brittney Griner's trial began in Russia.

The 31-year-old was arrested four months ago at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. Police said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil.

The Phoenix Mercury star and two-time US Olympic gold medallist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale transportation of drugs.

At a closed-door preliminary hearing on Monday (27 June) in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, the 31-year-old's detention was extended for another six months, to 20 December.

The athlete’s detention and trial come at an extraordinarily low point in Moscow-Washington relations.

Griner was arrested less than a week before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, which aggravated already high tensions between the two countries.

The invasion led to sweeping sanctions being imposed by the United States, and Russia denounced the US for sending weapons to Ukraine.

Amid the tension, Griner's supporters have kept a low profile in hopes of a quiet resolution, until May, when the state department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs – effectively the US government's chief negotiator.

But yesterday (Friday 1 July), Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied politics played a role in Griner's detention and prosecution.

"The facts are that the famous athlete was detained in possession of prohibited medication containing narcotic substances," Peskov told reporters.

"In view of what I've said, it can't be politically motivated," he added.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/east2westnews

Topics: News, Russia, Sport