Is Vladimir Putin Behind The Artemi Panarin Abuse Story?

It was announced earlier today that New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin would be taking a leave of absence from the team after a Russian newspaper accused him of physically abusing a woman while he was in the KHL in 2011.

The report came after Panarin’s old coach, Andrei Nazarov, claimed he assaulted an 18-year-old girl in Latvia. Nazarov (a known Vladimir Putin supporter) has been critical of how Panarin has spoken out Russia’s president in the past. The New York Rangers released a statement calling the report an “intimidation tactic”.

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“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story,” the Rangers said in a statement Monday. “This is clearly an intimidation tactic being used against him for being outspoken on recent political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time away from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to identify the source of these unfounded allegations.”

Many people on social media think that Andrei Nazarov has teamed up with Putin to try to take Artemi Panarin down.


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I’m not going to take a stance one way or another on whether or not Putin could somehow being orchestrating a move against Panarin, but the story is interesting nonetheless.

Hopefully some more information comes out about this alleged assault. Until then, we’ll wait to see how this bizarre story unfolds.


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