Putin The Permissive and Russian Football Hooligans
In total, the Euro 2012’s organizing body has fined the Russian Football Federation $235,000 for the behavior of Russian fans in Poland. On June 25, Fursenko resigned as head of the Federation. He apologized to Putin and to fans for…the national team’s poor performance.
Meanwhile, Russian diplomats continue to work overtime on the plight of the seven Russian fans still under arrest. On June 22, a Russian deputy foreign minister met his Polish counterpart in Moscow and demanded “the earliest possible repatriation” from Poland of all jailed Russian fans.
Although seven times as many Poles were jailed or hospitalized than Russians, the Russian media coverage largely followed the theme of “Russians as victims.”
Paula Bogutyn, a Polish student from Middlebury College, watched the Poland-Russia game in a Moscow café. Her brother was at the stadium in Warsaw.
Paula emailed me: “The problem is that media in both countries seem to not have truthfully portrayed the actual events. Russian side raved about mean Polish nationalists attacking innocent peaceful Russian supporters. The other side criticized violent marching Russians, apparently waving hammer and sickle and shouting communist slogans around the center of Warsaw.”