Belarus: Soccer fans detained for singing song deriding Russian president


A court in the Belarusian capital Minsk has imprisoned eight Ukrainian football fans after they sang an insulting song about Russian president Vladimir Putin.

According to police, 41 fans were detained after the Belarus versus Ukraine European Championship qualifier match in the Belarusian city of Borisov on 9 October 2014. Eyewitness accounts in Belarusian papers claim that around 100 Ukrainians and 30 Belarusians were detained. Eight Ukrainians were arrested for up to 10 days, Radio Liberty reported. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that 12 Belarusians will face court.

Video showing soccer fans chanting ‘Putin-Huilo!’ which roughly translates as ‘Putin is a d—head!’ or ‘Putin is a prick!’.
Published on on 9 October 2014

Fans of both countries paid tribute to one another, as home supporters controversially welcomed their Ukrainian opponents by singing ‘Glory to Ukraine’ – a song often associated with the anti-Putin protests in Kiev’s Maidan in 2013. Ukrainian fans responded by chanting ‘Long live Belarus’ – a song that has inspired countless internet memes and a popular phone ringtone.

Police told local press the fans were detained on charges of either “mild hooliganism” or “drinking in a public place”.

» BBC News – 10 October 2014:
Belarus: Football fans jailed for anti-Putin chant
A court in the Belarusian capital Minsk has jailed eight Ukrainian football fans after they sang an insulting song about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

» Newsweek – 10 October 2014:
42 Football Fans Arrested After Anti-Putin Song Breaks Out in Belarus-Ukraine Match
Article by Damien Sharkov

» The Guardian – 10 October 2014:
Belarus police detain Ukraine fans for singing anti-Vladimir Putin songs
Belarus police detained scores of Ukrainian and Belarussian football fans who shouted patriotic Ukrainian slogans and chanted abuse against the Russian president Vladimir Putin at a match, a rights organisation and local media said on Friday. Article by Reuters

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