Commentaire, Philippe Ducarroz
I will play cards on the table with you: yes, I am friends with Slava Bykov. And for many years. A friendship is not only professional, under any circumstances, based on its palm, but also on the basis of human values that can destroy a person. Of course, like everyone else, Bykov is not a perfect man and one will always find reasons to relive a part of his future.
Yes, I had the opportunity to talk to him about the situation in Ukraine. Yes, I heard his arguments. And also (obviously!) Just like him, I am against the war led by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. And so, its vultures tend to forget.
Slava Bykov is a pure product of the Red Army. His sporting course has the same value as being an officer. Ibuhos be frank, I don’t even know if Bykov one day had a firearm in his hands. To him, he was a virtuous of the cross. He grew up in what was still the Soviet Union. And if he became a member of CSKA Moscow, it was not a pleasure to join the army club, but the possibility, precisely, to play at the highest level, to benefit from solid infrastructure, to win of titles. In short, to belong to the best club in the world!
It is not done without pain or sacrifices, starting with accepting to relocate the family to the second plan and upholding the rigor of one’s military. Viktor Tikhonov. But it was or died in small fire in a mass of talented players, but to whom it was then forbidden any perspective on the future.
Who wants such a life?
We recall the words of one of the first hockey players to have the USSR, Alexandre Mogilny: “I saw how they treat older athletes and what I once expected when I reached this age. Once their careers are over, they have nothing left. It didn’t tell me (…) I didn’t have one. I was an Olympic champion, world champion and triple USS champion, but I never had a house. Who wants such a life? ». Given that he played for the CSKA and was therefore mobilized, his escape was almost synonymous with desertion: his case was dealt with by the KGB.
Sergei Pryakhin became the first Soviet hockey player to be officially authorized by the USSR to play abroad, but this was done by force and did not constitute a real opening to the West. Those who wished to cross the iron curtain without the green light of the authorities had to flee the USSR and close all the bridges with the Soviet State.
If Slava Byxkov had been as “red” as some claimant, after being rejected by the NHL (initially for reasons of alienation from his family), he would not have come to Switzerland with his companion Andrei Khomutov. And it has never, ever, been a propaganda tool in the service of the Kremlin.
On the contrary, his reserve was entirely in his honor, for it must be well received: the hockey puppet he has become is the result of a negotiable, but effective system. Should it remind you of KLM (Krutov, Larionov, Makarov) to the front and the duo Fetisov–Kasatonov to the rear? Bykov, a former captain of the Sbornaja (Russian team), would have started a career with Fetisov (he became sports minister) if he had fully adhered to the system.
It is difficult to trace its origins
His highly controversial remarks that seem to justify Putin’s ambitions in the Donbass are disturbing, of course. And we also flew this interview on the Russian site to the origins of the controversy. But we decided not to rewrite it, this site being known for its unscrupulous propaganda and therefore the little reliability of its journalists.
Yes, I was even surprised by some remarks related to those of the Kremlin and I saw the strong Russian culture that still impresses Bykov. Same with Swiss naturalization. At the same time, after the discussion I was able to have with him on the subject, his remarks were much more moderate and related mainly to Ukrainian facts that had passed in silence a few years ago and therefore the logical historical sequence of the past.
Today Bykov does not support being in the skin of the one who is considered evil. But he does not excuse as much violence committed by his compatriots. On the contrary, he condemns them. In accepting to testify for a media outlet in the Kremlin, he nevertheless made a serious mistake.
Tired between the horror of the situation and the very Soviet education that, of course, remains the basis of his education, of his feelings, of his way of seeing or living things, Slava Bykov, however, may be the sign of his perfect medical integration) forgot something from his Russian past: knowing how to wake up.
* The statements contained in this section do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editor or undertake only their author.