The former Soviet Union dominated international hockey, winning nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1991. Vladimir Putin and Russia still long for those days of dominance and empire. This provocative act didn't seem to help in the game, however, as Russia lost in overtime to Finland.
Russia’s national ice hockey team sparked outrage in northern Europe by wearing throwback jerseys from its Soviet past during an overtime loss to Finland Sunday, amid rising tensions between the Kremlin and the West.
The uniforms worn in Euro Hockey Tour’s Channel One Cup in Moscow had CCCP, or USSR in the Cyrillic alphabet, emblazoned across the chest, prompting Finland’s former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb to tweet that the nod to the Soviet regime was “an offensive gesture that does not belong to sport or anywhere else.”
The jerseys used in the Finland game, based on a design worn in the 1960s during an undefeated streak in international competitions, were honoring the 75th anniversary of the country’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation said in a statement.
Finland's former Prime Minister was not impressed.
Tom Nichols called it "one of the saddest goddamned symbols of the state of modern Russia I've seen in a long time."