Russian Olympic champion calls Latvia's historic result at the 2023 World Ice Hockey Championship a merit of Russia
Vyacheslav Bykov, the former head coach of the Russian national team, has called the success of the Latvian national team at the 2023 World Championships no surprise. At the same time, the winner of two Olympics added that the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) allegedly made a huge contribution to the Baltic team's historic success at the World Cup, where they won bronze.
Bykov said this in a commentary to the R-Sport news agency. In the best traditions of Russian propaganda, he emphasised that the tournament in Riga and Tampere did not arouse much interest because the teams of the aggressor countries did not participate.
"I was not interested in the World Championship without Russia and Belarus. No, I wasn't surprised by Latvia's bronze medal because, thanks to the Kontinental Hockey League, the level of the Latvian national team largely depended on the players who had participated in the KHL at one time. And then there is the development potential of the club that participated in the KHL. In principle, the Latvians have been playing for a long time, and their Riga is a good club, so I'm not surprised. I don't know what the level of hockey is, but surprises have always been and will be there," Bykov said.
Earlier, Olympic champion Alexander Kozhevnikov called the 2023 World Cup the first court in the absence of Russia and also spoke insultingly about Latvia. And hockey legend Vyacheslav Fetisov considers Russians discussing the 2023 World Cup to be criminals.
A week ago, Russia's main propaganda channel, Match TV, stopped broadcasting Latvia's matches at the World Ice Hockey Championship, excluding both live broadcasts and replays. The reason for this was the behaviour of Latvian fans who stretched a banner with a Ukrainian flag and the words "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!"
OBOZREVATEL also reported that the 2023 World Cup champion was the Canadian national team, which defeated Germany, another sensation of the current World Cup, in the final match (5:2).