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28 May, 2018 13:33

‘Ignorance or fake news’: Russian Embassy derides tabloid claiming masked Kiev thugs are ‘Russian’

‘Ignorance or fake news’: Russian Embassy derides tabloid claiming masked Kiev thugs are ‘Russian’

The Russian Embassy in London has admonished British tabloid the Daily Mirror for insinuating football thugs who attacked Liverpool fans in Kiev were Russian ultras, deriding the article as “ignorance or conscious fake news”.

Liverpool fans were left bloodied and bruised after an unprovoked attack from a 20-strong group of masked hooligans before Saturday’s Champions League final between their team and Real Madrid in the Ukrainian capital. The attack saw the fans pelted with bricks and chairs at a city-center chicken restaurant.

The Mirror raised fears the attack was a “warm-up” by “Russian ultra football thugs” before next month’s World Cup, judging by their clothing and that a police officer spoke to one of the assailants in Russian, rather than Ukrainian.

The newspaper reported: “Images taken by the Daily Mirror show suspects wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with Russian words. One slogan was translated as: “All against us, we are against all.””

In response, the embassy derided the paper’s remarks as “ignorance or fake news” and then offered some clarity on the situation in a Twitter post on Sunday. 

It tweeted: “Daily Mirror blames “Russians” for attack on Liverpool fans at UCL Final because they spoke Russian - but males of conscription age are not let in by Ukraine border force, and Russian is the most spoken language in Kiev.”

Spanish newspaper Marca also tweeted that the hooligans were "Russians", despite earlier describing them as "local" earlier in their report.

In March last year, The Mirror used a video of Russians taking part in traditional pancake festival activities, accompanied with the title: “Russian ‘football fans’ in bizarre refereed ‘fights’”, despite no violence taking place.

The same mistakes were repeated as recently as last week by The Mirror’s fellow red-top, The Daily Star, who reused the clip. The video was used with the title: “Russian hooligans take part in brutal street fight” for an article with the headline: “England hooligan firms’ hardcore uniting to wipe the floor with Russian Ultras.”

READ MORE: Spanish newspaper blames Russian ultras for Ukraine hooligans’ UCL final attack

The 2018 World Cup kicks of on June 14 when host nation Russia takes on Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, and runs through to July 15.