Ivan Fedotov: Russian hockey player detained in Russia for allegedly escaping military service, reports say



CNN

Russian goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov was detained in St. Petersburg at the request of the military prosecutor’s office on Friday for evading military service, according to reports in Russian media.

According to the Russian media Fontanka, the military prosecutor’s office believes that there are reasons to “consider Fedotov as an escapee from the army”.

Speaking to Russian state media RIA Novosti, his lawyer Alexey Ponomarev denied Fedotov escaped military service.

The 25-year-old Finnish-born Russian signed a one-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers on May 7, following the conclusion of the Russian and Chinese KHL hockey league season , where he led CSKA Moscow to win the Gagarin Cup.

Fedotov was held outside the Ice Arena Kupchino in St. Petersburg and taken to the military registration and enlistment office, where he fell ill and had to be taken to hospital, reported Fontanka.

“We are aware of the reports and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Flyers president of hockey operations Chuck Fletcher said in a statement sent to CNN.

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In an interview with Russian outlet Match.TV on Saturday, Ponomarev said he and Fedotov’s parents weren’t allowed to see the goalkeeper in the hospital.

“Right now, we can’t say exactly how things are going. He was in the hospital, at least actually, but for some reason he wasn’t listed like the other patients,” Ponomarev said.

“Recently, the military police entered the territory of the hospital. I introduced myself to them, said I was a lawyer and asked what problem they had come for. They turned around, got into the car and made no further comments until they were ushered into the hospital grounds.

“Since then, we haven’t heard anything. As far as I know, they want to transfer him in serious condition to some sort of military investigative body. While he argues as best he can that it’s not necessary, but events are unfolding quickly, now he doesn’t get in touch.

In Russia, all men between the ages of 18 and 27 must complete one year of military service, with some exemptions. Evading conscription can be punishable by heavy fines and penalties of up to two years in prison.

“It is difficult to predict his fate,” added Ponomarev. “He was on the territory of the city military registration and enlistment office, but he is registered with the army in Moscow. They found his registration certificate, but he lives in Vsevolozhsk. In other words, he has nothing to do with the city’s military registration and enlistment office.

Ivan Fedotov helped the ROC win silver at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“Also yesterday, information about his presence there was covered up in every possible way, despite the fact that he had a phone and informed his relatives that he was there. Employees of the military commissariat were informed that a complaint had been filed with the court and that the decision had been suspended.

“The court must solve this problem, but the conscription procedure has been violated. It is strictly described in the law. It is clear that it is not as simple as that. Judging by the last contact with him, he doesn’t feel very well,” concluded Ponomarev.

CNN contacted the NHL, CSKA Moscow, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and Ponomarev, but did not immediately respond.

The Russian Olympic Committee goalkeeper, who helped his team win silver in men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics, was reportedly arrested on the same day as the trial of the two-time Olympic gold medalist American basketball player Brittney Griner started near Moscow for drug trafficking. which can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Griner supporters and US officials say she is being wrongfully detained and have called for her release amid growing fears she will be used as a political pawn amid growing tensions between Russia and the US.

At trial, Griner was charged by a prosecutor with smuggling less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage and carry-on. The second trial hearing is scheduled for July 7.

Catherine J. Martinez