Russian hooligans are preparing to attack England and Wales fans in Lens on Thursday.
That is according to The Sun, who claim that the 150-strong mob that has unleashed savage attacks on football fans at Euro 2016 is not planning to listen to calls to cease their fighting.
The newspaper has conducted an exposé into the extent the Russian thugs will go to disrupt the tournament and the outcome is pretty horrifying.
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From meetings with Russian president Vladimir Putin to taking crystal meth on a daily basis, hooligans haven’t gone to France with the intention of enjoying the tournament.
Instead, this is their opportunity to cause carnage. Apparently, members of the Russian gang planned for this moment by attending training camps where their fighting skills were put to the test.
Fans of six Russian clubs - Zenit St. Petersburg and the Moscow sides Spartak, CSKA, Dynamo, Torpedo and Lokomotiv - have adopted names like Mad Butchers and the Gladiators, while a leader of one of the firms is nicknamed ‘The Killer’.
They take methamphetamine - known as crystal meth - before unleashing hell because it allows fans to “work themselves into a fury before launching attacks of staggering brutality".
England fans have reportedly admitted to seeing Russians snorting a substance before Saturday’s explosive attacks.
Russian firms have joined forces
In Russia, the firms fight each other. Six years ago a Spartak fan was killed during a fierce brawl.
But they have joined forces in France, and with disturbing results.
Several England fans were taken to hospital after fighting with Russians before and after the 1-1 draw in Marseille on Saturday, with one in a coma.
Such was the level of violence that UEFA threatened to disqualify both nations from the tournament if fans continued to fight.
But it’s hard to imagine Russian fans complying with UEFA’s plea. The fact that fans were more eager to rush England supporters after Saturday’s game that celebrate their last-gasp equaliser shows they aren’t too bothered about the national team’s efforts.
England fans are specifically targeted
Football violence expert Dr Geoff Pearson explained how Russian fans are specifically targeting England supporters due to the trouble they caused in the 1980s.
“For Russian firms, there’s real prestige to getting in a fight with England fans,” Dr Pearson said.
“A lot of that is because of the amount of trouble English supporters were involved in back in the 1980s — that reputation hasn’t gone away among foreign football hooligans.”
One member of the Russian mob, Nikolai Soev, reiterated that view.
“Everyone has their own personal enemies,” the 20-year-old told The Sun.
“English fans — just like the rest of Britain — are Pakistani, and guess what? We don’t like them.”
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