Capitals' Alex Ovechkin voices support for Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) holds a certificate along with Russian national ice hockey team member Alexander Ovechkin (2nd L) thanking Ovechkin for his contribution to the team's victory during a meeting with Russian national hockey team, the winners of the World Championship, at the Novo-Ogarevo residence outside Moscow on May 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / POOL / SERGEI KARPUKHIN (Photo credit should read SERGEI KARPUKHIN/AFP/GettyImages)
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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has voiced his support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the Russian presidential election.

Ovechkin posted a message in Russian on his Instagram account Thursday announcing he's starting "a social movement called Putin Team." Ovechkin says he has never hidden his feelings about Putin and has "always supported him openly."

The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18.

Ovechkin is from Moscow and has often been photographed with Putin. A photograph of Ovechkin and Putin accompanied the post, in which the longtime NHL star says, "Being part of this team makes me proud and it's similar to the feeling you get when you put on a Russian national team jersey, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you."

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