Thomas Burrows — Daily Mail June 14, 2016
This shocking footage shows the new breed of super-fit Russian football hooligans battling it out in auditions to join the tight-knit group of ‘hyper violent’ thugs that brought carnage to the streets of Marseille.
In the violent video, two packs of testosterone-fuelled fighters charged at one another on the outskirts of a secluded woodland.
Watched by the elite group’s leaders they tried to demonstrate their strength and desire to attack opposition supporters at the European Championships.
If they made it through the first stage, they then had to suffer savage beatings at the hands of those already in the circle.
Those who were not selected were also beaten for a second time, The Sun reported.
The emergence of the video comes as Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin described the fearsome Russian ultras as ‘extremely well-trained’, ‘hyper-violent’ and ‘hyper rabid’.
Six Britons have been charged over violence in Marseille but incredibly only two Russians have been arrested – and that was for pitch invasion – despite 51-year-old English man Andrew Bache fighting for his life in hospital with severe brain damage after being beaten around the head with iron bars.
Many Russian hooligans have modelled themselves on the English club hooliganism which thrived in the 1970s and 80s – but have become fitter, leaner and stronger.
The Ultras, many dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and gum shields and brandishing truncheons, attacked fans in large groups on Saturday before police could arrive.
Horrific GoPro footage showed the Russians rampaging through the narrow streets of Marseille’s Old Port district in military-style towards their targets.
As they got closer to the English supporters they armed themselves with metal poles, chairs and beer bottles.
Then, inside the Stade Vélodrome the Russian thugs charged at the English fans at the final whistle – forcing them to flee for the exits.
Russian Ultras have already turned many of their domestic games into a battleground.
The gangs are frequently dominated by extreme-right wing militants, openly waving flags displaying neo-Nazi symbols.
Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg also have hooligan groups with hundreds of members each.
Their grounds have been notorious for racist chants against black players.
Andrei Malosolov, co-founder of Russia’s Fans’ Union, told the BBC: ‘Now many people are boxers or into mixed martial arts, and Russian hooligans often follow a very healthy way of life, avoiding alcohol which used to be part of the subculture.’