An anti-fascist group of Ukrainian football hooligans have banded together in the hope of using their fighting experience in the battle against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Hoods Hoods Klan, who also call themselves Arsenal Kyiv Hooligans because of their favourite team’s asssociation with the top-flight London club, formed on the basis of their anti-racist beliefs.
Instead of causing violence in the name of a far-right agenda, the hardened fan group stood out for campaigning against racism and fascism, and were involved in violent scraps in the streets of Ukraine with other supporters.
However, while rival hooligan firms from sides like Dynamo Kyiv were once their rivals, the group’s members told filmmaker Jake Hanrahan in his Popular Front documentary that they have now united against a common enemy following the Russian invasion.
“We had a lot of experience with fighting because there were lots of fights,” one member called Konstantin said.
Another member – who worked in social media before the war – agreed, adding: “Times are so bad, but we keep training and we want to go and kill some Russian pigs… We want to kick their asses.
“We have an RPG and we will ‘pow pow’ lots of fingers, legs, hands and other s**t.
“We were in football hooliganism for more than ten years, fighting with bad guys is not new for us, so I think it will be easy.
“Now our enemy is not other Ukrainians, not other football guys, it’s Russian pigs. We are a really strong group, we were strong in football hooliganism and now we’ll be a good war unit.”
Since Putin launched the invasion of Russia ’s neighbouring country, he has attempted to justify the so-called “special operation” by stressing the need to “de-Nazify” regions of Ukraine.
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And, as a group that has proactively taken a stand against racism and fascism, the irony of the despot’s statement wasn’t lost on some of the Hoods Hoods Klan members.
“It’s too funny to be true,” Anton commented. “Now everyone can see what the new Swastika looks like, what the new Hitler looks like.”
This comes after fighting has intensified in Ukraine’s eastern regions, with a former British soldier recently killed on the frontline in Severodonetsk.
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