Nazarov's Panarin story appears to be unraveling. Multiple former Vityaz players are vehemently denying this ever happened. His motivation is rather transparent. His past history of wild, unsubstantiated claims is telling.
So, let's take a look at the broader issue... (thread)
The broader issue here is, funnily enough, patriotism. Or rather what different people in Russia mean when they say the word. Because Nazarov's entire public persona, one he has spent a decade and a half building, one that has landed him coaching jobs, is that of a Great Patriot.
He burst onto the scene of Russian hockey punditry back in the 2000s, when he teamed up with a former colleague of mine known for his cavalier approach to facts. Together, they produced a series of "stories" about made-up NHL scandals (anti-Russian discrimination, corruption etc)
The goal of these insane stories was to make Nazarov into a patriotic figure, a defender the Motherland's honor. I have met him several times back then. He treated this as showbiz, not taking himself too seriously. But as his schtick worked, and he got coaching jobs, he changed.
He appears to have fully immersed himself into this persona now. His history of drinking and obvious anger management issues isn't helping either, I am sure. I fully allow that he is genuinely enraged by Panarin's anti-Putin politics, that he sees him as a danger to Russia...
He says so himself in the original Russian story. He claims that Panarin is living the easy life in NYC while his support for Navalny results in civil unrest back home. He positions himself as a brave patriot who is taking a stance for the country.
And this is the key here...
There is an ingrained view in Russia that patriotism is love for those in power. That "country" and "Putin" are synonyms. That any attack on the latter is an attack on the former. This is a view fully espoused by Alex Ovechkin, something North American colleagues routinely miss..
When Ovechkin first joined Putin's propaganda campaigns, and American reporters timidly asked him about it, his only reply was "I just love and support my country." And everyone... just let him get away with this. Nobody pressed him on "country" and "Putin" being different things
Ovechkin's "patriotism" is loving Putin. Nazarov's too. Not coincidentally, both reap huge benefits from this brand of patriotism. It's a very profitable brand.
Panarin, on the other hand, also describes himself as a patriot. He says he passionately loves Russia, but...
... he does not equate Russia with its rulers. He loves the tiny town near Chelyabinsk he grew up in, he loves visiting his grandpa there during the off-season, riding an overnight train like any other Russian. If he were offered a US citizenship and a change to play for USA...
... in the Olympics, he would never, ever agree. Even if he were blackballed from Team Russia forever. His patriotism is very real, very selfless, and it brings him no rewards in and of itself.
He is like so many Russians out there who see themselves in him. Except he has a voice
So, basically, this is it. You can wrap yourself in flag and be a pretty detestable human. Or you can be who you are, even if it means bad things may happen to you.
At this point, Nazarov's story may still be proven true or somewhat true. Who knows. Panarin might not...
... be an angel after all. This is not about his moral character. Humans are complicated, after all, and drunk humans are unpredictable.
This is about the different kinds of patriotism.
Having said that, I am sure Nazarov is full of shit. On all accounts.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Slava Malamud

Slava Malamud Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @SlavaMalamud

21 Feb
We are now a month into Biden's Communist America. Has your Republican wife been hauled off to an abortion camp? Are your guns being melted down for gay dildos by Planned Parenthood? Is your local police officer forced to do beer runs for Black Panthers?
Share your horror stories
I am an oil industry Marine who has served his nation bravely in places like Hungary and Canada. Today, I and hundreds of millions of working Americans like me have found ourselves out of a job because of Biden's Paris deal. I am reduced to serving lattes to college professors.
I am a single mother in Iowa who loves my country, Jesus and Freedom fries with lots of ketchup, not necessarily in this order. I can't sleep at night because Biden's Communist America is getting chummy with Iran and is fixing to bomb Israel where my god was born. I cry every day
Read 5 tweets
20 Feb
Today, Navalny is being sentenced in yet another staged trial, for defaming a WWII veteran (Navalny called everyone who made a pro-Putin propaganda video stooges and crooks, and the old man was in it). His last words are absolutely epic.…
Navalny has obtained a document that shows how much help the vet got from the govt. He was given aid 7 times over the last 4 years, in food and home products certificates totaling 11K rubles ($150).
"This is how you really care for veterans, you hypocrite scum!", Navalny screamed
He talks about the 15 people who have been hired to "investigate" this "crime", calling them leeches and idlers who were given housing in Moscow on taxpayers' dime. The money spent on the "investigation" has dwarfed the help the veteran has received over his entire life.
Read 5 tweets
19 Feb
Call me a filthy commie but the estate tax should be 100%. All inheritance above a certain amount must be abolished. Being born into money should never entitle anyone to privilege. Nobody deserves anything for crawling out of a certain type of womb. Just look at @DonaldJTrumpJr.
And it's not a communist idea anyway. America was founded on the rejection of birthrights, on abolishing aristocracy. That was the original idea. But we are well into a new feudal age now, with landed aristocracy, whose kids never have to work in their lives.
Seriously, rich folk. Your kids have already grown up with so many advantages. They've gone to private schools (an abomination that will need to be abolished), they grew up in a nicer home, they had things other kids didn't. Would it absolutely KILL them to earn their living?
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
Soviets loved thinking of themselves as the least racist nation on Earth, the only hope of colonized POC.
In reality, ethnicity was the most important human characteristic in the USSR. It was written into our internal IDs and was the basis of how we'd be appraised by society.
The very bottom of the ladder was "Jew", of course. The entire reason for the dreaded "Line 5" in our passports was said to be to identify Jews. In fact, saying "His Line 5 is problematic" was a universally-recognized euphemism for "He is a Jew."
But yes, Africa is fighting.
A bi-ethnic child born to a Russian/Jewish family would always be written as "Russian" in Line 5 to make sure he doesn't face discrimination in the future. Many took mothers' last names. Many took mothers' names even if she was also Jewish, but her name was less obvious...
Read 5 tweets
16 Feb
Bud, let me tell you something about words.
My dad, a Soviet Jew, was once called a racial slur by an NCO. After which he felt obliged to lay him out with a single punch. He then spent 2 years on guard duty in a Komi Republic penal county... (thread)
Dad wasn't a terribly nice guy, @DanCrenshawTX. For all I know, he may have gotten on the NCO's nerves something awful that day. But that word made him lose it. It opened the box of pain that he, a son of a Soviet Marine who went through Omaha Beach times 1000, couldn't handle...
The slur made him forget which country he was in, what consequences that country loved to heap on its insubordinate citizens and particularly how it reveled in doing this to his particular ethnic minority. That word sure as fuck made him unsafe, @DanCrenshawTX...
Read 5 tweets
15 Feb
OK, let's dig into this. (Thread)
1) The example is nonsense and means nothing beyond the fact that our film industry had a tiny makeup budget and absolutely zero aptitude in special effects. It was basically theater on tape and relied on the viewers' ability to suspend disbelief
2) Soviet films were generally much less violent and scary. This was not because we had better morals and viewed the world through more generous eyes. This was because our culture was extremely prudish and staunchly conservative. Scary, violent films were unseemly, "uncultured"..
3) Soviet sci-fi films and literature were heavily ideological and had to show benevolent, communist Earthlings carrying the light of science and progress to outer space. Most of it was EXTREMELY dull. Some of the best ones (by Strugatsky brothers and Bulychyov) did show conflict
Read 20 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!