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Russia's Soccer Fans Proud of Their Racism

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The true face of Zenit St Petersburg, concealed from me for a week, walked in on his tiptoes and hidden under a hoodie.

A 23-year-old, out-of-work car mechanic with ‘34’ tattooed on his arm — the shirt number worn by Vladimir Bystrov, a right winger no less — was willing to break the strict code of silence among the hardcore fans of Europe’s most racist club.

He spoke fast in Russian, occasionally making a cut-throat gesture with his scarred hands.

He predicted a hostile atmosphere inside the Petrovsky Stadium for Liverpool’s Europa League match against Zenit, with racism at its ugly core.

‘There may well be monkey noises aimed at Liverpool’s black players,’ said our informant, speaking on condition of anonymity.

‘Monkey...

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