The social media movement for “Putin Team” is gaining steam.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin has joined compatriot Alex Ovechkin in offering public support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Malkin posted a photo of him and Putin to his Instagram and Twitter accounts earlier this week, but only spoke about it on Thursday night following Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

“We want him to understand that we support him,” Malkin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We play here. We’re far away, but we understand what’s going on. We try to be together. It’s not like me or [Ovechkin] are the right-hand [man] for Putin. We just try to offer our support because, in 2018, we have the World Cup in Russia; they have elections, too.

“It’s a tough year. We want to be together and support him,” Malkin added. The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 18.