The ultras at war for Putin financed by football clubs. With the former footballer Solomatin-

The ultras at war for Putin financed by football clubs.  With the former footballer Solomatin-

Of Lorenzo Nicolao

They are gathered in the "Española Batallion" battalion, they specialize in attacks with the use of drones: "We are volunteers, we do not belong to the army, the football clubs are sending others". Far-right ultras are also enlisted for Ukraine

There is a battalion of volunteers who support Putin's war and are mainly made up of football ultras. They are called to the front «Española Batallion»a wording they care a lot about to distinguish themselves from regular troops, e they are supplied with weapons, according to them, thanks to the funding of some Russian football clubs (Cska, Zenit, Spartak, Torpedo, Lokomotiv Moscow and a good part of the group of hooligans known as «Orel Butchers»).

They are recruited by the Russian president himself and serve his cause, but in fact they fight like Wagner's mercenary group, conducting much of the military operations themselves. One of them, Stanislav Orlov, through its social channels, communicated the nature of the battalion: «We are volunteers, part of the Dpr (The pro-Russian People's Republic of Donetsk). We have an independent status and do not belong to any Russian military apparatus. However, we want to lend a hand to our allies to preserve freedom against the Ukrainian Nazis". Initially around 550 units, currently they may even have reached the thousand. «We are constantly increasing – explained Orlov – because i football clubs have understood how important it is to overcome enemy resistance and are sending us other ultras from all over Russia to take up arms and join our cause."

The former hooligans they conducted much of the frontline operations in the form of kamikaze attacks through the use of drones. A kind of revenge for them, since on the eve of World Cup in Russia, in 2018, a large part of these criminal fringes linked to typhus had been opposed and suppressed with exemplary punishments by Putin himself
the same ones that had created many public safety problems over the years Europeans of France (the same Orel Butchers protagonists of several clashes during the sporting event in 2016). Now their armed wing can instead contribute to military victory in Ukraine.

Ex-footballer Solomatin driving

To lead this battalion too Andrey Solomatinaccording to what the Sun, a former CSKA and Lokomotiv Moscow footballer, now 47, who professes to be the commander of the army of ultras. There would also be others, all charismatic figures for these fringes of violent supporters. Much of these hooligans' motivations are related to their own social redemption, enlist yourself behind the emotional pull of these words. “Take part in the most important and exciting experience of your life. It will be your revenge, your revenge in the service of the Motherland». The ultra battalion tries to contribute with particular skills in the field: saboteurs, anti-aircraft specialists, military communication and logistics professionals, engineers, snipers, grenadiers, pilots, doctors and assault units, all peculiarities and knowledge of which these « fans» do not seem to be without. For them, the war represents a great opportunity to receive a significant moral and economic reward from the state in the aftermath of the conflict, guaranteed by an important social recognition, never received up to now. Most of them were trained in Moscow and St. Petersburg during these first 12 months of the war and are now ready to give their contribution, also in the field of new war technologies.

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Fans fighting for Kyiv

However, the involvement of the ultras is not exclusive to Russia. Already in the first weeks of the conflict in Ukraine, Kiev in its vast call to arms demanded to many of its hooligans to defend the borders. They have largely reinforced the armed wing dthe Azov battalion, emphasizing its neo-Nazi inspiration, becoming protagonists in the defense of cities like Mariupol, under siege by the Russians. Among the most violent groups of ultras that of Metalist Kharkiv, a team with which former Atalanta captain Papu Gomez also played. The department of Ukrainian hooligans was founded by Andriy Biletsky, known as the White Führer, who presented himself as the Aryan defender of the Ukrainian race against the Russian threat. Extremist support in Ukraine has often been associated with the extreme right and the opposition to pro-Russian governments in Ukraine and the declaration of war on the ultras of Russian clubs has always been known in the past years. Now these paramilitary groups have actually found a way to clash on the ground, making the guerrilla warfare even more bitter at the front, beyond the official troops regularly deployed from Moscow and Kiev.

March 16, 2023 (change March 16, 2023 | 1:07 pm)

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