Putin Wins Ice Hockey Game At Olympic Venue


Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has reinforced his “tough guy” image by taking part in an “all-star” ice hockey game.

The 61-year-old even got his Belarussian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, involved in the match at Sochi, that will host the Winter Olympics the following month.

It emerged as Mr Putin eased restrictions on demonstrations on the resort in a gesture that appeared to be an attempt to allay human rights concerns.

He amended a decree to allow groups to hold some marches and gatherings at sites approved by the security services, the Kremlin stated in a statement.

“Gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets, which are not directly connected to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, could be staged upon Jan 7-March 21 2014… only after agreeing with… a local security body, ” it said.

The president’s team, which included retired professional Pavel Bure – known as the “Russian Rocket” – as well as defence minister Sergei Shoigu, defeated a side that included previous champion Alexander Yakushev.

The leaders wore red, with Mr Putin in a number 11 jersey and Mr Lukashenko quantity 1 .

Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Knowing that a complement hockey stars was prepared at Sochi and understanding of the passion of Alexander Lukashenko for the sport, Putin invited him to Sochi. ”

The Russian leader is on a visit lasting several days to Sochi, which will sponsor the Winter Olympics between Feb 7-23.

His trip came after Russia suffered two of its deadliest attacks with suicide bombings in late December in the southern city of Volgograd, about four hundred miles from Sochi.

Mr Putin, who also attended a rehearsal of the Games’ opening wedding ceremony on Saturday, has staked his reputation on a successful and safe Olympics.

Moscow has spent greater than £30bn on the event and it has imposed tight security close to Sochi and nearby metropolitan areas.

:: View Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.


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Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has reinforced his “tough guy” image by taking part in an “all-star” ice hockey game.

The 61-year-old even got his Belarussian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, involved in the match at Sochi, that will host the Winter Olympics the following month.

It emerged as Mr Putin eased restrictions on demonstrations on the resort in a gesture that appeared to be an attempt to allay human rights concerns.

He amended a decree to allow groups to hold some marches and gatherings at sites approved by the security services, the Kremlin stated in a statement.

“Gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets, which are not directly connected to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, could be staged upon Jan 7-March 21 2014… only after agreeing with… a local security body, ” it said.

The president’s team, which included retired professional Pavel Bure – known as the “Russian Rocket” – as well as defence minister Sergei Shoigu, defeated a side that included previous champion Alexander Yakushev.

The leaders wore red, with Mr Putin in a number 11 jersey and Mr Lukashenko quantity 1 .

Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Knowing that a complement hockey stars was prepared at Sochi and understanding of the passion of Alexander Lukashenko for the sport, Putin invited him to Sochi. ”

The Russian leader is on a visit lasting several days to Sochi, which will sponsor the Winter Olympics between Feb 7-23.

His trip came after Russia suffered two of its deadliest attacks with suicide bombings in late December in the southern city of Volgograd, about four hundred miles from Sochi.

Mr Putin, who also attended a rehearsal of the Games’ opening wedding ceremony on Saturday, has staked his reputation on a successful and safe Olympics.

Moscow has spent greater than £30bn on the event and it has imposed tight security close to Sochi and nearby metropolitan areas.

:: View Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.