Putin Takes on Former Hockey Stars With Lukashenko

President Vladimir Putin and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko during a friendly hockey match which saw the leaders' team win 12-3. | kremlin.ru

SOCHI — President Vladimir Putin has played a friendly ice hockey match with Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko and various hockey stars in the Winter Olympic host city of Sochi.

Putin and Lukashenko played in a team alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and NHL legends Pavel Bure and Vyacheslav Fetisov. Their team won 12-3.

After the two leaders played the game at the Olympic hockey arena, they continued talks in an informal atmosphere.

On Friday, Putin tested the ski slopes in Sochi as the city counts down to the start of the Games, which get under way on Feb. 7.

From right to left: hockey legend Vyacheslav Fetisov, President Lukashenko, President Putin. (kremlin.ru)

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said Putin would inspect all the Olympic facilities at Sochi's mountain and coastal clusters during his visit to the city.

Putin greeting hockey star Vyacheslav Fetisov before the start of the match. (kremlin.ru)

The Winter Olympics are the focus of intense international scrutiny and security concerns following the double suicide-bomb attacks in Volgograd, 400 miles away, in late December that killed 34 people and injured more than 60 others.

From the Web

Dear reader,

Due to the increasing number of users engaging in personal attacks, spam, trolling and abusive comments, we are no longer able to host our forum as a site for constructive and intelligent debate.

It is with regret, therefore, that we have found ourselves forced to suspend the commenting function on our articles.

The Moscow Times remains committed to the principle of public debate and hopes to welcome you to a new, constructive forum in the future.


The Moscow Times

Sochi Notebook
Sochi Notebook: Inside the Team U.S.A. House

In front of the Old Believers cemetery in the Sochi Olympic Park, there is a little piece of America.

Sochi Notebook: Medal-Flavored Champagne Anyone?

SOCHI — After the official medals ceremony each night, Russian athletes tend to celebrate their victories in a narrow circle — but in accordance with a truly Caucasian tradition.