There are growing signs that the Russian authorities are taking threatening and persecution measures against players who choose to move to the West.
Ivan Padotov, the goalkeeper of the Russian ice hockey team, was the first victim of the new policy, and following his sad story, more victims appear.
In addition, three young players in the Russian league - Mikhail Vorobiov from the SA St. Petersburg team, Vladislav Lukin from Admiral and Anwar Suleimanov from Salvat Yulev, are expected to be prosecuted for "refraining from military service". Criminal is also hovering over the heads of stars who have already realized this potential, including Minnesota striker Kirill Kaprizov.After the threat in Pedotov's case is realized, no one wants to mess with the Russian enforcement system.
The 25-year-old Pedotov rose to prominence in the senior Russian league as early as the age of 18. The promising talent was also recognized in the NHL, the North American hockey league, and in 2015 Philadelphia selected him in the draft, with the intention of signing him as he matured and rubbed shoulders.
Meanwhile, Pedotov continued to play in the Russian league, demonstrated impressive performance and in 2021 was signed to CSKA Moscow, the most decorated team in Russian hockey.
At the same time, the goalkeeper was called up to the Russian team, and was included in the squad for the Olympic Games.
The year 2022 was supposed to mark his final ascent to the hockey summit.
First came the Beijing Olympics, at the end of which Pedotov and his teammates won silver medals.
Then came the championship title of the Russian league, which was especially sweet for him: Pedotov recorded excellent statistics (in 48 games a season the top 92.8% of shots on goal) and was voted the best goalkeeper in the league.
Even the removal of Russian teams from international sports following the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not supposed to be an obstacle on its way to the top.
In May it was announced that his selection in the draft would finally be realized, and Pedotov announced that he was signing for Philadelphia and moving to play in its ranks.
His trip to the United States was scheduled for July, and until the long-awaited move he continued to train in his hometown of St. Petersburg, to keep fit.
Then on July 1, the giant player Tarti Mishma (Pedotov soars to a height of 2.05 meters) simply disappeared, as if swallowed by the earth.
After a while, the stories of eyewitnesses watched, who claimed that the player was abducted on his way out of training at the sports hall by tough-looking people, and was put in a car with no identifying marks.
As the hours passed, more evidence emerged, and the general picture bore resemblance to an operation to apprehend a dangerous criminal: it turned out that members of a special police unit were waiting for Pedotov at various sites in the city where he could appear.
The following testimony spoke of the goalkeeper being seen at the Russian Army Recruitment Bureau in the city.
From there Pedotov was urgently rushed to the hospital, and has since disappeared.
The actor's whereabouts are unknown, and authorities have not provided any official version of the chain of events, but the mention of the army has spawned a series of publications that would excuse the mysterious arrest of Pedotov's "defection."
It should be noted that athletes in Russia do not serve in the military.
Instead, dating back to the Soviet era, the custom of joining the Army Sports Association, known worldwide for the CSKA brand, and their sporting activities is considered a service.
Against the background of the escalating alliance between Russia and Western countries, Pedotov's desire to move to the United States greatly disturbed senior figures in the Russian administration.
It is not difficult to guess what went through their minds: "Do not want to play in CSKA?"
We'll already show you what it is! ". The social networks in Russia are full of speculation as to the exact place to which the goalkeeper will be sent for military service.
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