Russian authorities persecute football fans expressing discontent with the Kremlin’s policy towards Crimea and the rest of Ukraine. According to the Russian oppositional TV channel, on July 7, Russia’s investigation committee conducted searches among the members of Nevskiy Sindikat, pro-Ukrainian union of football fans in Saint Petersburg. ‘The criminal case against them was opened a year ago. Initially, they were charged with bludgeoning, but then, the prosecution changed accusations to ‘hooliganism’.
The searched took place after the loud scandals involving Russian fans at Euro 2016 in France; however, the Russian government supported actions of some of the hooligans. ‘Nevskiy Sindikat is quite a different story. It’s one of the largest fan unions in the city, and their political views are very different from the others – in terms of Crimea and the rest of Ukraine. This issue divided the fan movement in Russia. Nevskiy sindikat is among those who support Ukraine in the current situation’, the channel reports.