igor-lebedev-russian-pm“Well done lads, keep it up!” Those were the words of a prominent Russian politician Igor Lebedev, a member of Duma (federal parliament) and an executive committee of the Russian Football Union, in response to information about violent fights of Russia’s soccer fans with their English counterparts.

According to ABC, there were about 150 fans from Russia who clashed with England’s supporters during the European Championship in France. The game Russia-England ended with the even score 1:1.

The 43-year-old Russian politician stated he didn’t see anything wrong with fans being physically violent to each other. He believes it’s normal for fans to fight.

Moreover, his view is that Russian hooligans were defending the country’s honour. Lebedev calls for forgiveness and understanding towards the Russian Euro 2016 team’s supporters, as they needed to stand up for their country and defend it.

Lebedev stated that is was the fault of the French police who showed their inability to organize such events.

“I do not understand these politicians and administrators who are now blaming our fans. They [fans] should be protected, and when they come home, we will sort it out,” the politician wrote on Twitter.

After his controversial comments attracted attention, the LDPR fraction chairman fired back:

“To all who wrote filthy things under my tweet in support of our fans, I want to respond. RUSSIA WAS, IS AND WILL BE A GREAT COUNTRY!!!”

“The situation on Euro with the behaviour of fans says about a complete professional unsuitability of the French officials.”

The tag on top of Lebedev’s Twitter account states: #roadtovictory.

Both England and Russia were warned by football officials that they could be thrown out of the championship if there were more violence. The first fights occurred off the stadium’s ground on streets. After the game, Russian supporters broke security inside the stadium and attacked English fans. Gazeta.ru reported that 35 people had received injuries. The game was held in the French city of Marseille.

igor lebedev twitter screenshot

Screenshot of Lebedev’s Twitter page with his tweets about fans’ fights (click to enlarge).

England’s fans were called to be respectful towards the locals and not cause any problems by both officials and team players.

The next game of the Russian team is scheduled in Lille. Russians are playing with Slovakia on Wednesday 15 June. England is playing in the nearby Lens against Wales the next day. On 20 June Russia plays against Wales.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko tried to downplay the problem of fans’ fights as well, The Guardian reported. According to Mutko, media reports about violence were exaggerated.

Russia has been charged with several offences by UEFA, including public disturbances and illegal fireworks, Lenta.ru reported. There has been no case open against England.

The chief trainer of the Russian team and the soccer players issued a statement asking fans to behave correctly during the tournament. “It is very important for international football organizations to have guarantees that there will be no further breaking of the law from the side of fans,” the statement points out.

Russia is to host the 2018 World Soccer Cup.

Igor Vladimirovich Lebedev is a high level official of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Lebedev has a degree in law and works in the Duma committee on budget and taxes. He is the son the party’s founder Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is known for its extreme views on a variety of subjects. One of Zhirinovsky’s previous suggestions was to strip Russian women marrying foreigners off their Russian citizenship.

Lebedev’s parents changed their son’s name on purpose to his mother’s maiden name, so as not to interfere with his personal life, due to the fame of his father.

Russian Federal elections will be held on 18 September 2016. Using topics of interest and outlandish statements is a regular plot by minor parties, which has been often used by LDPR.

In Russia, touching another person during a disagreement is still not considered a taboo. Moreover, it can be indeed viewed as a “matter of honour” to initiate a physical fight in response to a rude remark or gesture.

Igor Vladimirovich Lebedev, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

Igor Vladimirovich Lebedev is the fraction chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, founded by his father Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Lebedev is also a member of the Russian Football Union’s executive committee since 2015.

Photos: Lebedev’s parliamentary interview, screenshots


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Unfortunately he is not right (in my opinion, certainly :)), here is a mistake that there are fights between fans: football is just a game, that’s why there shouldn’t be any serious struggles. However he is right about one issue: RUSSIA WAS, IS AND WILL BE A GREAT COUNTRY!!!”


Where I grew up in small town America it was fine if two men wished to fist fight to settle differences, usually one would buy a beer for the other afterwards, at least in my experience. It is no longer that way, it probably for the best but I do feel a bit torn and I admire the directness of Russian culture on this topic. There is probably far better manners in a culture where one could find themselves in a fight if being disrespectful.


Hm. Russia is a big country, no doubt. Also rich culture. But economically and politically it is anything but great. Five small Scandinavian countries of 25 million people produce almost as much as Russa with 140 m p. Not to talk about US, EU and China. What is so great? Corruption? What is exported apart from oil and gas?


economically not .. but politically … you know which are the 5 countries in the UN security council?
You know any other country able to stop USA? (Where is Snowden? In one of the 2 or 3 countries in the world where the CIA cannot mess …)


Why this conspiracy thoughts? Why need to “stop US?’ Never a threat to RU. And i the long run, economy matters. (France is also UN Sec Member, but Getmany more important due to ec. success/French Failure) Economy is also why Soviet Uniion collapsed. . Isn’t It interesting that RU “won” WW2 and completly (with help of US and UK) destroyed. Germany. And yet Germany is economically a super power. Hope Russia will develop. But it won’t happen without democracy, rule of law and open market economy.


Tried to answer this earlier. But for some reason not published. No one is a threat to Russia. Please give up this conpirancy theories. Yes. For historic reasons, RU is part of UN Sec. Council. As is France. But everyone knows Germany is, for ex. leader of EU. In the long run economy decides. I wished Russia could prosper. But for doing that democracy, rule of law and freedom is needed. And perhaps also a realization what has been done wrong, also to other nations.


Seems Censorship is reigning here as well. Have written two decent answers. None published


Ok. I am very sorry. You do need to publish this comment. Henrik


“Lebedev’s parents changed their son’s name on purpose to his mother’s maiden name, so as not to interfere with his personal life, due to the fame of his father.”
That is hilarious, isn’t it? 🙂


. Football fans – the most active fans of all sports. Fans of the biathlon – much quieter and more intelligent. But football hooligans – is the radical wing of the fans. The police should seriously be engaged in their battles. But for the West Russia is the main aggressor. Therefore, I do not believe in the objectivity of the French police.


Even if Russia is a great country, it doesn’t mean it should behave like a snob. I think it was a real shame. Football wasn’t created to make or encourage violence. If it goes on like this, we will make a mess a better show than a game. The man is definitely wrong to be so optimistic about it all.


Football fans from such countries as Russia, Albania, Serbia are the maddest fans from all over the world! Fighting is like their national entertainment. But English fans provoked them, so they, maybe, deserved to be punished.