Nikita Zadorov speaks out on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: ‘I think it was just important to be vocal’
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
Russia invaded Ukraine back in February 2022 and an ongoing military conflict has been raging in the region ever since. In an interview published with Russian YouTuber Yuri Dud earlier this week, Calgary Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov became one of the first prominent Russian athletes to speak out against the war.
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Shortly after the publication of the interview, Zadorov spoke with The Hockey News’ Randy Sportak regarding the war and his decision to speak out against it.
“I was getting more interested in what’s going on in my country, what’s going on in the world. The war, two years ago when it started, it hit me. It was a switch point for me,” Zadorov said in an exclusive interview with The Hockey News on Thursday.Zadorov is the lone Russian NHLer to boldly speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began Feb. 24, 2022. Zadorov, who admits his outspokenness may be “a bad thing about me”, said he understands not everyone in his situation is comfortable about taking a stand for various reasons, but that doesn’t deter him.“I understand the consequences from my Motherland, word’s going to come out and how they’re going to react over there, but I think it’s really important for people to know my point of view on that. And I think it’s important for young guys, Russian players, to know it’s OK to speak out. I just have a hope — maybe it’s a child hope — but I hope my words can change something in this world. I think it’s important to speak out.”
Speaking to the media at the Saddledome on Friday, following that day’s training camp on-ice session, Zadorov spoke about the potential repercussions of his decision to speak out.
“Probably can’t go back anytime soon, until Putin isn’t president or that regime is still there, for sure,” said Zadorov. “So I can’t go back to my home country, but Florida is home for me right now so I’m enjoying my time over there.”
Regarding his decision to speak out, Zadorov had this response:
“It just sucks what’s going on over there right now and that I think it’s just important to be vocal,” said Zadorov.
(Check out the whole interview at The Hockey News, it’s worth your time. The YouTube interview is too, though it’s two hours long and in Russian with English subtitles.)
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