Russian football hooligans form separate battalion to fight in Ukraine

Russian paramilitary group dubbed Espanola is made of football 'hooligans' led by CSKA supporter Stanislav 'Spaniard' Orlov, 41

Russian paramilitary group dubbed ‘Espanola’ is made of football hooligans led by CSKA supporter Stanislav ‘Spaniard’ Orlov, 41 (Picture: East2West)

Russia is stepping up recruitment of football hooligans to fight in Ukraine.

A battalion named Española comprising thugs from the terraces has now been given special status among armed forces backing Vladimir Putin.

The news comes as Moscow launches a desperate recruitment drive to replace the fighters it has lost in Ukraine.

Previously, the Wagner mercenary group had been recruiting convicts from Russian prisons to fight on the frontlines, but after their numbers were decimated during the ongoing siege of Bakhmut the Kremlin has been forced to seek ‘alternative sources’ of manpower.

The Espanola batallion is comprised of ‘Ultras’ from various Russian football clubs (Picture: East2West)

Reports emerged this week of female prisoners being transported to the frontlines to ‘compensate for losses in personnel’.

Meanwhile, Wagner has been reportedly recruiting high school students from schools around Moscow, giving ‘career talks’ and distributing questionnaires, titled ‘Application of a Young Warrior,’ in order to collect their contact information.  

Hooligans had previously been targeted for recruitment too, but now their Española battalion is being re-classed as a separate private military company, with the go-ahead to expand recruitment.

The hooligans are urged: ‘Get into the coolest adventures of your life with a real chance to come back alive from these scrapes,’ and are promised a ‘decent reward’ for turning their violent instincts on Ukraine.

Española commander Stanislav Orlov, call sign ‘Spaniard’, said: ‘We were volunteers, then part of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] forces.

‘Recently we managed to get separate status.

‘So now we do not belong to any battalions or divisions.

Once shunned by the Kremlin as they sought to crack down on hooliganism ahead of the 2018 World Cup, …read more

Source:: Metro News

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