Staunton, May 6 – There are many compelling reasons why the international community should boycott the World Cup in Russia this summer – Moscow’s doping program and its dishonest handling of charges against its athletes and officials being the most commonly cited -- but now the Kremlin has provided another reason for such action even at this late date.
The pseudo-Cossacks, under the command of a “retired” FSB lieutenant general, who beat Russians taking part in the “He’s Not Our Tsar” marches yesterday, were paid for by the Moscow city authorities and are slated to serve as guards for fans coming to World Cup competitions this summer (newsru.com/russia/06may2018/kazaki.html).
Consequently, anyone who attends those sporting events will be “protected” by people who have already shown their contempt for obeying the law and protecting people rather than beating them up. No one in his or her right mind should take that risk, especially as it is likely that these “Cossacks” aren’t the real thing but rather thugs the authorities make us of.
(There are genuine Cossacks in Russia, but there are also a large number of marginals who enjoy putting on uniforms and being used as bully boys in the name of patriotism and for good pay. Those involved yesterday and who are supposed to be involved this summer are almost certainly the latter.)
This link between the FSB and hence the Kremlin and those who beat protesters and may do the same to fans from abroad they don’t approve of has been uncovered by a Russia news agency (thebell.io/napavshie-na-mitinguyushhih-v-moskve-kazaki-okazalis-svyazany-s-meriej-moskvy/).
This involvement no doubt will serve as evidence in support of complaints by Russian human rights activists about what happened yesterday (mbk.media/news/15-chelovek-pozhalovalis-pravozashhitnikam/). Maksim Shevchenko will likely use it to convene the Presidential Human Rights Council on this issue (newsru.com/russia/06may2018/spch.html).