Alex Ovechkin on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: ‘Please, no more war’

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Alex Ovechkin commented Friday for the first time since Russia began its attack on Ukraine. The Washington Capitals captain pleaded, “Please, no more war,” and added “we have to live in peace and a great world.”

The 36-year-old Ovechkin, who hails from Moscow, has expressed support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, including being a part of PutinTeam, a social movement that began in 2017. As one of the country’s high-profile athletes, he has had a good relationship with Putin for a some time.

When asked if he continues to support Putin following this week’s invasion of Ukraine, Ovechkin said that he is an athlete, not a politician.

“Well, he is my president,” Ovechkin said. “But, I am not in politics. I am an athlete, and you know, how I said, I hope everything is going to be done soon. It’s hard situation right now for both sides and everything, like how I said, everything I hope is going to be end. I’m not in control of this situation.”

Ovechkin’s wife, Nastya, his two children and parents remain in Russia. He said he was unsure if they would stay in the country.

“Of course [we] pay attention what’s happened out there. I don’t want to see nobody get hurt, nobody get killed. How i said, hope it’s going to be over, and we going to be living in good world,” he said. “It’s hard question because it just happen a couple days ago. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Other Russian athletes, like tennis stars Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev, have called for peace. Ovechkin added his voice on Friday.

“Please, no more war,” he said. “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.”

Follow NBC News for up-to-date coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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