Ukrainian, Polish fans brawl with flares, knives ahead of Europa League match (VIDEO)

File photo - Legia Warsaw soccer fans. © Kacper Pempel
Several massive brawls, involving pyrotechnics and knives, broke out between Ukrainian and Polish football fans ahead of Legia Warsaw’s away match at Zarya Lugansk in the Europa League.

The first incident took place near the Hydropark metro station in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday where around 50 Dynamo Kiev ultras attacked a similar-sized group of visiting supporters, Ukrainian media reported.

According to witnesses, the hooligans threw flares at each other and used knives, with several Polish fans reportedly receiving stab wounds. 

The police said that nine people were detained, without specifying to which group they belonged.

There were more clashes on the day in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov, which the Legia supporters were passing on their way to Kiev.

Eight Polish fans were reportedly assaulted by around 20 Ukrainians, with no information about injuries or arrests available.

The Ukrainian fans said that it was the Poles, who provoked violence by venting obscenities about the city of Lvov. 

On Thursday, young people between 15 and 20 years old started gathering at the spot where clashes between Ukrainian and Polish fans had taken place the day before, the UNN reported.

They chanted nationalist slogans and sang the Ukrainian anthem before police arrived on the scene to disperse the crowd.

There were reports of a Polish national taken to the hospital after clashing with Ukrainians at the Maidan or Independence Square in central Kiev on Thursday.

According to UNN, the hooligans brought the Legia fan to ground and kept beating him on the head even after he fell unconscious.

It took the ambulance around an hour to pick up the injured man as the rehearsals for the Ukrainian Independence day on August 24 being underway at the Maidan.

The majority of Legia fans, eventually, managed to make it to the Dynamo stadium for the game as they were escorted there by the police, with home team fans throwing flares at the visitors.

A source within the Ukrainian ultras told the local media that the attacks on Legia supports came in retaliation for the Polish fans offensive behavior during last year’s Europa League game between Metalist Kharkov and Legia Warsaw.

Last October, the Polish football fans displayed a banner demanding the return of Lvov and Vilnius, now Lithuania, to Poland.

Lvov was part of the Polish state until the late 18th century and also after World War I before it was transferred under the jurisdiction of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine in 1946 after the end of World War II.

In May, Polish rugby fans put up a similar banner, threatening to kill Ukrainian nationalists and demanding Lvov be returned. This occurred during a home match against the Ukrainian national team in Lublin.

“Take back Lvov. Kill Banderovites [followers of Ukrainian nationalist icon, Stepan Bandera],” the banner, written in both Polish and Ukrainian, read.

READ MORE: Hard tackle: Polish rugby fans threaten to kill Ukrainian nationalists, return Lvov to Poland

Zarya Lugansk is hosting Legia Warsaw in Kiev on Tuesday night in the Europea KLeague qualifying match.

The meeting was moved from Lugansk due to the eastern Ukrainian city being held by the rebels, who have been fighting for self-governance against the Ukrainian authorities for over a year.