Ivan Fedotov, ice hockey goaltender considered a star in Russia, was arrested by Kremlin order after signing for a US team. As reported by the news portal Fontanka, the athlete was arrested last weekend and accused of skipping military service and forced conscription. The Russian government, which is drafting citizens into the army to continue the invasion of Ukraine, refers to the hiring of the goalkeeper as an act of desertion.
Fedotov left CSKA Moscow, the team he belongs to, in June to sign for the next season with the American team Philadelphia Flyers, who were supposed to pay him €1m a year. Coincidentally, CSKA Moscow has close ties to the Russian Armed Forces. For legal reasons, the team’s association with the army is such that all of its players are considered military. This reality is the reason why the player commits a crime.
Before he could leave Russia for the US, Fedotov was arrested by several plainclothes police officers and taken to the army enlistment office in St. Petersburg. The player’s arrest could have been orchestrated from within the team itself, in conjunction with the army and police. After his arrest, the goalkeeper was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain caused by the stress of his complicated situation. Fedotov is currently at the Severomorsk naval post and could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.