Newest Rangers star Artemi Panarin fired shots at Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview that aired Thursday on YouTube.
In his native tongue, Panarin told Russian journalist Alexander Golovin that Putin doesn’t know right from wrong to become one of the first Russian athletes to publicly criticize the authoritarian leader. Fellow hockey star Alex Ovechkin, for example, has long gushed over Putin, and in 2017 started a social movement called “PutinTeam.”
“I think he no longer understands where — well, where — bad,” Panarin said, as translated by Google Translate. “It seems to me that it is already psychologically not so easy for him to soberly assess the situation, because there are many people who lead him to decisions.”
Panarin, who signed a seven-year $81.5 million contract with the Blueshirts this offseason, said he used to be a fan of Putin, but his stance wavered after coming to the United States in 2015.
While carefully repeating this was his opinion alone, the 27-year-old added that he is a fan of the two-term Presidential limit in the US. Putin is in his third consecutive term.
“I speak sincerely and with good intentions,” Panarin said. “Our mistake is that we treat him like a superman. But he is the same as we, and in theory serves us. I have no relation to him that he is a superman.”
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