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Who is Ivan Fedotov? Ice Hockey Star ARRESTED AND FORCED Into Russian Army After $1.1M Flyers Deal

Olympian silver medalist Ivan Fedotov, who was arrested at a hockey rink in St Petersburg, Russia for planning to evade military service on July 1 after signing a deal worth 1.1 million in May with the National Hockey League (NHL) team Philadelphia Flyers, has now been drafted into the Russian army to fight in Ukraine.

According Daily mail, Fedotov, 25, one of Russia’s top goaltenders and a member of the national team, signed an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers of the USA National Hockey League and planned to leave his Russian club, the Central Sport Club of the Army (CSKA), to play in the United States. Following the deal, Russian officials met the player as he left an ice rink in Saint Petersburg on July 1 and “invited him to go to the military registration and enlistment office” where he was accused of seeking to dodge military conscription, as reported by Russian online newspaper Fontanka.

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A source told Russian media that the military prosecutor’s office believes “there are sufficient grounds to consider Fedotov an army escapee.” Although he was born in Finland and raised in Russia, his involvement with CSKA as a player makes him considered for the army, says a report.

Military rules in Russia

All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 must complete compulsory military service for one year. And only Russians between the ages of 18 and 40 and foreigners between the ages of 18 and 30 were able to enlist as professional soldiers in the Russian army. However, this rule was changed in May this year when Russian lawmakers passed a bill that removes age limits for professional soldiers joining the military. Lawmakers in the lower house of the State Duma approved the bill in three readings in a single session, with the upper house, the Federation Council, giving its assent soon after. The bill now only needs the signature of President Vladimir Putin to become law, according to Reuters.

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Who is Ivan Fedotov?

The Finnish-born ice hockey goaltender made his KHL debut playing with HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the 2014-15 KHL season on December 12, 2014. He spent the last year with the CSKA Moscow, a team that has its roots in the Russian army. It is also one of the best club teams in the KHL, Russia’s premier hockey league. After the 2018–19 season, Fedotov was traded to Traktor Chelyabinsk on May 6, 2019. On May 2, 2021, the player left Traktor after two seasons when he was traded to CSKA Moscow in exchange for financial compensation.

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Fedotov also played on the 2022 Russian Olympic team at the Beijing Winter Olympics, winning a silver medal as a starting goaltender.