Kremlin hails Ovechkin for starting pro-Putin group

MOSCOW (AP) The Kremlin has backed Alex Ovechkin’s new ”social movement” to support President Vladimir Putin.

The Washington Capitals captain said Thursday on Instagram he was starting a group called Putin Team to ”show everyone a strong and united Russia.” The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says ”we obviously welcome in general Sasha’s desire to express support for our president, especially from abroad,” referring to Ovechkin.

Peskov adds that Ovechkin is ”a very famous Russian, a very successful Russian, and we really know that he values our president highly.”

Ovechkin, speaking after the Capitals’ game against the New York Islanders on Thursday, said he didn’t mean his post as a political gesture, but as a sign of Russian patriotism.

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