Capitals' Ovechkin calls for 'no more war' in first comments after Russian invasion of Ukraine

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin weighs in on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, says obviously it’s a hard situation, and one he can’t control, but he hopes “it’s going to end soon and there’s going to be peace in both countries.” Courtesy: Capitals.

Alexander Ovechkin, one of the most famous citizens of the Russian Federation, made a call for peace while speaking to reporters Friday.

"Please, no more war. 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," Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin was speaking for the first time since Russian president Vladamir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning. The 36-year-old described the situation as "scary moments" and said he doesn't know yet whether his family – including his parents, wife and young son – will remain in Russia.

"It's a hard situation. I have family back in Russia and it is scary moments," Ovechkin said. "But we can't do anything. We just hope it going to be end soon and everything is going to be all right."

Reaction to the invasion has been swift around the world, including amongst other athletes. Russian tennis stars Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have both shared messages asking for the war to end while Ukrainian NBA players Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Alex Len condemned the attacks, calling the situation "a great tragedy."

Russia's sporting community has also seen swift punishment from federations around the world. On Friday, UEFA pulled May's Champions League final from the country while Formula 1 effectively cancelled the upcoming Russian Grand Prix. The International Olympic Committee urged sports federations to cancel or move events scheduled to be hosted by Russia, and the International Ice Hockey Federation announced it would hold a special meeting next week to determine how it would respond.

Ovechkin has openly shown support for Putin in the past, including on social media – where he has a photo of himself with the Russian president as his profile picture. Ovechkin was asked about that relationship Friday and "it's a hard situation for both sides."

"Well, he is my president. But how I said, I am not in politics. I am an athlete and you know, how I said, I hope everything is going to be done soon," Ovechkin said. "Everything I hope is going to end. I'm not in control of this situation."

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