Since this tweet is being misinterpreted in all sorts of ways, I’ll try to clarify in a thread:
Not saying this couldn’t be Kremlin-orchestrated smear, but think that’s a bit of a leap. Would be a strange way to go about it: a former coach who isn’t credible and no woman has come forward. Not really convincing.
The story didn’t even really get a ton of traction in Russia until Panarin said he’d take a leave of absence. (Also, not saying Panarin is definitely innocent, but no one should just take Nazarov’s word for it either obviously.)
It’s easy to jump to the most outrageous conclusions when it comes to Russia (because a lot of outrageous things do indeed happen here). But it’s also entirely possible Nazarov just decided to say a bunch of nonsense to a questionable media outlet without anyone ordering him to.
All that being said, my “there could be more to it” comment refers to why Panarin might have chosen to take a leave of absence. This story alone clearly didn’t succeed in smearing him, nor should it have. People in N. America are generally siding with him.
But obviously don’t know if there’s been anything else behind the scenes that’s spooked him. Maybe he’s legitimately worried about his family. Don’t think his criticism of Putin has been so intense to trigger such a thing even here, but certainly possible.


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