Ovechkin speaks on Russia's invasion of Ukraine: 'Please, no more war'
"Obviously, it's a hard situation. I have lots of friends in Russia and Ukraine, and it's hard to see the war," Ovechkin told reporters after practice Friday. "I hope soon it's going to be over, and there's going to be peace in the whole world."
He added: "Please, no more war. It doesn't matter who is in the war - Russia, Ukraine, different countries - I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world."
Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning. Missile strikes have reportedly hit several areas throughout Ukraine, and Russian troops have been deployed on the ground, prompting thousands of Ukrainians to flee the country.
The 36-year-old has been an outspoken supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout his career. His Instagram profile picture features him standing alongside Putin, and he has posted several pictures with him in the past.
When asked if he still supports Putin amid the ongoing crisis, Ovechkin - a Moscow native - said the following:
"Well, he's my president. But how I said, I'm not in politics. I'm an athlete, and you know how I said, I hope everything is going to be done soon. It's a hard situation right now for both sides and everything. Everything I hope is going to end. I'm not (in) control of this situation."
Ovechkin joins tennis players Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev as Russian athletes that have called for peace.
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