Editor’s note: This is another short piece about Ukraine and Ovechkin. Unlike last time, it’s light on political opinion and condensed history, but if you don’t want any politics in your sports, feel free to skip over this one. All opinions in here are my own.

NHL media day went a bit off-topic today as the press asked Alex Ovechkin about the controversial photo he shared late last month. Speaking with Craig Custance of ESPN, Ovechkin said, “I don’t try to make a statement.” He was speaking about the photo of him literally holding a statement in front of his chest.

“I just don’t want a war,” Alex Ovechkin said, just two weeks after holding up the Kremlin-coordinated slogan used to justify its war in Ukraine, while wearing a “no war” shirt.

It’s only the latest convolution of this nearly incomprehensible story.

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Photo: @ESPN_NHL

The reason why is pretty great.

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Ovi on the flight home (Photo: @a0gr8)

In another encouraging sign that hockey is imminent, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has returned to North America, after a cross-continent flight over the Atlantic during the weekend. As we speak, the Russian machine is participating in the NHL’s media in New York City. Then, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, he will return to nation’s capital on Wednesday.

When Ovechkin does arrive, he has a special event planned. According to the Caps, Ovechkin will host a private skate with sixty disabled children and adolescents at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. First, he skates with future pilots at an aviation school and now this? Whatta guy.

Ovechkin will then speak to the local media for the first time this season.

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Photo: @ElenaRusko

Fifteen Caps players (and Jeff Halpern) skated at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Friday, but Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin remains in his homeland of Russia.

Earlier on Friday, photographer Elena Rusko captured the Russian machine at the Dynamo Moscow game while he was aggressively face-nuzzled by the team’s former head coach, Oleg Znarok.

Dynamo lost 4-1. They sit DFL in the KHL after being outscored 10-2 in the first two games.

While Ovechkin goes way back with Znarok (Ovechkin played under him during the lock-out and during this past year’s World Championships) and this isn’t a big deal, it’s probably not the best thing in the world to see the Capitals’ best player (sorry, Brouwer Rangers) exchange pleasantries with a KHL head coach team official just days after the KHL President hints that you might return home for the 2015-16 season. But what do I know?

With that in mind, let’s have a Caption Contest! What is Znarok actually saying to Ovi? Here’s a photo with a caption bubble.

Submit your ideas in the comments below. Have fun and I’ll see you at the party tomorrow.

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Photo: ITAR-TASS

For those of you who’ve been having heavy Ovi thoughts lately, here is some upbeat news. Today, Alex Ovechkin will shoot his first music video since Sasha Belyi’s Champion.

O rly?

I’ll let Anastasiya Gnedinskaya of MK.ru explain.

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For those of you whose lives literally stop until we post about that thing Ovechkin just did on social media, I would like to apologize on behalf of the entire blog for being more than 48 hours late on this article. Please forgive us.

You see, on Saturday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was hanging out with Evgeni Malkin after the “From Pure Heart” charity hockey game. In a dark room, with the superstars face-to-face, Ovi started filming.

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Photo: R-Sport

On Saturday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin participated in Ilya Kovalchuk’s charity hockey game, “From Pure Heart.” Also at the game was KHL president Alexander Medvedev.

A member of Sport-Express’s sports department caught up with Medvedev, asking a bunch of questions about the charity game and the KHL. At the end of their conversation, the interviewer asked a rote question about when Ovechkin and other Russian NHL stars might leave North America and come back home.

Medvedev’s answer was portentous.

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Ovechkin and Alexei Yashin share a laugh before the game. (Photo: R-Sport)

On Saturday, Alex Ovechkin traveled 45 miles from his Moscow home to participate in the fifth iteration of Ilya Kovalchuk’s charity hockey game held in neighboring Chekhov, home of KHL Vityaz. The proceeds of the game, which translates to “From Pure Heart,” raised $16 million rubles (or slightly under $500k dollars) for various orphanages.

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Editor’s note: There is news and reporting in here, but it’s also an opinion piece. My opinions are my own. I won’t speak for anyone else at RMNB. I also encourage everyone to do their own research on this and not just take me- or anyone else– at face value. Frankly, I’d rather not write about this at all, but it seems inappropriate for a site named “Russian Machine Never Breaks” not to address this somehow.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shared the above photo on Instagram this morning.

In the photo, Ovechkin, wearing a t-shirt that reads “No War,” holds up a sheet of paper pasted to posterboard, reading  “#SAVE CHILDREN FROM FASCISM” [sic].

It sounds like an implicit message of support for the rebels of Ukrainian. Those rebels, allegedly been funded and armed by the Kremlin, have been fighting against the Ukranian government in an ever-escalating war. As of this morning, there are reports that as many as a thousand Russian soldiers have now joined that war. That, it seems, is how Russia intends to save children from fascism.

In short, this is chauvinistic Russian propaganda.

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Photo: Nash Futbol via Sports.ru

After training and skating with future aviators last week, Alex Ovechkin decided Sunday was the right time to take a load off, attending a CSKA Moscow / Spartak Moscow soccer game at Arena Khimki in Northwestern Moscow. CSKA and Spartak are heated rivals of the Russian Premier League. Spartak won 1-0.

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