Rus­sian hooli­gans un­leashed

308 vi­o­lent fans cleared to at­tend games...just in time for World Cup

Daily Mail - - News - By Chris­tian Gysin in Repino and Will Ste­wart in Moscow

ONE bran­dishes a hunt­ing ri­fle, oth­ers flares. Some are masked, but all these hooli­gans have one thing in com­mon – they brought ter­ror and vi­o­lence to foot­ball in Rus­sia.

As­ton­ish­ingly, how­ever, au­thor­i­ties have now cleared them all to at­tend World Cup matches.

Hun­dreds of banned thugs have seen their sta­dium ex­clu­sion or­ders for threat­en­ing be­hav­iour and light­ing flares ex­pire and Rus­sian judges have al­lowed them back into grounds.

Fig­ures re­leased by the Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties show a to­tal of 308 hooli­gans have had bans ex­pire in the past 12 months and will be free to at­tend the tour­na­ment which kicks off to­day.

Among them is Ar­tyom Koluza­yev, 22, a mem­ber of the hard­core Kollek­tiv 18 ul­tra gang. He was pic­tured on so­cial me­dia hold­ing a Saiga semi-au­to­matic hunt­ing ri­fle.

His six-month ban for bring­ing two ‘ex­plo­sive de­vices’ into a sta­dium ended on June 1, when his con­fis­cated ‘ py­rotech­ni­cal’ gear was re­turned to him by or­der of a judge.

Fear­some Spar­tak Moscow fan, 23-year-old An­drei Volkov is free to go to matches de­spite post­ing a pic­ture of him­self with lit flares on a ter­race and on a train.

St Peters­burg-based Mak­sim Tau­rin, 22, can also at­tend games de­spite set­ting fire to a flag, scarf and T-shirt in a crowded sta­dium last year, en­dan­ger­ing other fans.

Hooli­gan Dmitry Anikin, 22, from Ryazan, western Rus­sia, is also free to go to matches when his ban ex­pires on June 30.

The rev­e­la­tions came as an Eng­land foot­ball fan was robbed and beaten in Moscow ahead of the tour­na­ment. He was set upon by five Rus­sians in the city cen­tre on Mon­day and forced to with­draw cash from an ATM.

About 10,000 Eng­land fans are ex­pected to travel to Rus­sia this month and they have been ad­vised to stay in their ho­tel rooms should vi­o­lence erupt nearby.

Mean­while, in Bri­tain more than 1,200 trou­ble­mak­ers with a his­tory of foot­ball-re­lated dis­or­der have been sub­jected to ban­ning or­ders so they can­not travel to Rus­sia for the World Cup. The Foot­ball Ban­ning Or­ders Au­thor­ity (FBOA) or­dered 1,312 banned in­di­vid­u­als who hold a pass­port to sur­ren­der them to po­lice last week.

The lat­est Home Of­fice fig­ures re­leased yes­ter­day re­vealed that forces in Eng­land and Wales have ac­counted for 1,254 pass­ports.

Po­lice will hold the pass­ports un­til the World Cup fi­nal on July 15. Breach­ing a ban­ning or­der is a crim­i­nal of­fence and can re­sult in a fine of up to £5,000 and a six-month prison sen­tence.

Gay fans have been warned not to hold hands or show af­fec­tion in pub­lic as this could be dan­ger­ous.

In an in­ci­dent last week­end a gay French sup­porter trav­el­ling with his boyfriend was left with se­ri­ous in­juries in St Peters­burg, the clos­est city to Eng­land’s train­ing base in Repino.

The vic­tim, named only as O Davrius by Rus­sian me­dia, suf­fered head and brain in­juries and a frac­tured jaw frac­ture.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened when the pair mis­tak­enly got into a car they thought was a li­censed taxi.

The at­tack­ers were de­tained and named as Is­met Gaidarov, 25, and Ra­sul Magome­dov, 24, both from Dages­tan, a mainly Mus­lim repub­lic in the Cau­ca­sus.

Five years ago Rus­sia passed a ‘gay pro­pa­ganda’ law pro­hibit­ing the pro­mo­tion of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and at­tacks against LBGT peo­ple are com­mon in the coun­try.

A UK po­lice del­e­ga­tion is now in Rus­sia to work with their lo­cal coun­ter­parts in a bid to en­sure a trou­ble-free tour­na­ment for vis­it­ing Eng­land fans. Mark Roberts, the Na­tional Lead for Foot­ball polic­ing, said last night: ‘Over the past 30 years the UK has made steady progress in erad­i­cat­ing the be­hav­iour of those in­tent on en­gag­ing in foot­ball-re­lated vi­o­lence and dis­or­der.’

The Krem­lin has vowed there will

be no re­peat of the ugly Bat­tle of Mar­seilles scenes at Euro 2016 when English and Rus­sian fans clashed in street bat­tles.

Af­ter­wards pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin joked: ‘I don’t know how 200 fans could hurt sev­eral thou­sand English­men.’

A BBC doc­u­men­tary last Fe­bru­ary, called Rus­sia’s Hooli­gan Army, showed one group of hooli­gans promis­ing to un­leash a ‘fes­ti­val of vi­o­lence’ on Bri­tish fans. Some 539 yobs are still on the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment’s banned black­list.

Wel­come to Rus­sia: An­drey Volkov has seen his sta­dium ban lifted de­spite be­ing a trou­ble-maker, top, as has flare-wielding Dmitry Anikin, bot­tom left, and Mak­sim Tau­rin

Free to at­tend: Ar­tyom Koluza­yev bran­dishes a hunt­ing ri­fle

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