On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Olaf Scholz, sits at the Kremlin in Moscow across from the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, at a very long table to discuss the imperialist power play, that Putin has had his troops perform for months on the border with Ukraine.

On the same day, judge Margarita Kotowa traveled from Moscow to Pokrov, 100 kilometers away, to penal colony number 2, where prisoner Alexei Navalnyj was brought before him.

He faces up to fifteen more years in prison.

Christopher Becker

sports editor.

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And in Beijing, fifteen-year-old Kamila Valerjewna Valiewa competes in the figure skating competition, despite a positive doping test less than eight weeks earlier.

She is led to the ice by her coach Eteri Tutberidze and the team doctor of the Russian figure skaters, Filipp Schwezkij.

Before the 2008 Summer Games, the doctor put banned infusions on rowers, was banned for four years for violating the doping rules, and was pardoned in 2010.

In Beijing, he accompanies the world's best figure skater, Russia's surest bet on gold, to the gang.

Kamila Valiewa only has to walk herself. That goes two days later, Schwetskyi is close by again, and it goes drastically wrong.

But when fifteen-year-old teenager Kamila Valiyeva gets frustrated, 17-year-old teenagers Anna Stanislavovna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Vyacheslavovna Trusova are there to win gold and silver respectively.

They are fulfilling a mission in the national interest in Beijing, a mission that is part of Putin's policy, like the war against Ukraine, like the humiliation of Alexei Navalny, who dared to challenge the ruler's power.

A heritage that commits to success

Figure skating is the “personification of the nation,” writes Andrei Volkov of Moscow’s Lomonosov University in his essay on the importance of women’s figure skating as a tool of Russian “soft power” for the January 2021 Journal of Political Science and International Relations Figure skaters like Valiyeva, Shcherbakova and Trusova are what Volkov describes as “part of Russian culture and national heritage”.

A heritage that commits to success.

As Putin put it himself, quoted by Volkov: “Such a bright, beautiful, elegant sport as figure skating catches the attention of the world community, especially now that our athletes, especially our younger athletes, are achieving such breathtaking results.

Millions of people are always aware of this - and this is no joke.

It is important when people who are involved in something that attracts the attention of millions make positive contributions.

That makes their work even more effective.”

The effectiveness is written down in the winner lists.

Russian figure skaters became European champions eight times in a row.

In five of the last six World Cups, the winners came from Putin's realm.

At the Olympic Games in Sochi, Pyeongchang and Beijing, Adelina Sotnikova, Alina Sagitova and Anna Shcherbakova won, in Pyeongchang and Beijing Yevgeniya Medvedeva and Alexandra Trusova also won silver.

For victories, Putin pays attention.

When Alina Ilnazovna Zagitova, the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic champion at the age of 15, turned 18 in May 2020, Putin sent a telegram.

Zagitova "continued our legendary tradition of national figure skating.

Despite your tender age, you have achieved outstanding results, winning major prizes including Olympic gold.

I am confident that your talent, fantastic creativity and drive to win will always help you in sport and in life.

I wish you new victories and successes.”

Eteri Tutberidze's regime of terror

Zagitova published the post from the Kremlin on her Instagram channel.

She was no longer able to fulfill the order from the Kremlin.

Since the congratulations, she has not entered any competition.

Officially, Sagitova is still on hiatus.

Nobody expects a return to the ice, especially not their trainer.