Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko take a pause during the Night Hockey League match following their talks in Strelna, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021.
Andrei Stasevich/BelTA Pool Photo via AP
- Russian President Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko played hockey together Wednesday.
- Putin scored seven goals in the game while Lukashenko scored two.
- The pair of authoritarian leaders played hockey after holding diplomatic talks near St. Petersburg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko played a hockey game together on Wednesday after meeting for diplomatic talks — and scored a combined nine goals in the match.
Putin scored seven goals in the game, while Lukashenko scored two, according to Sky News.
They both played for the same team in the friendly match that was held in Strelna, Russia, near St. Petersburg, Russian state media TASS reported.
Famous Russian hockey players, including Pavel Bure, Alexei Kasatonov, Valery Kamensky, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Vyacheslav Fetisov, also played in the match, TASS reported.
Putin and Lukashenko also spoke together on state television as part of diplomatic talks on Wednesday, Yahoo News reported.
After the meeting, Putin announced Russia and Belarus planned to hold joint military exercises in February or March 2022, according to The Times.
This isn’t the first time Putin and Lukashenko have played hockey together — they also played a match in Sochi in early 2020.
Putin and Lukashenko’s hockey game came one day before Putin had scheduled talks with Biden amid Russia’s military buildup near the border of Ukraine.