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Don’t Call President Putin A “Dickhead”

October 13, 2014

Oh, brother.

You can drink at a soccer game, you can fight at one, and you can certainly swear at one — just don’t get political. That’s the message that Belarus’s government sent on Friday when the local KGB fined and arrested soccer fans at a qualifying match between Ukraine and Belarus for the 2016 European Championship after they a sang a song comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to a very sensitive part of the male anatomy.

The song, Putin-Huilo!, which roughly translates as “Putin is a dickhead!” became a popular chant during the Maidan protests in Kiev as a form of opposition to the Russian leader and has its origins among Ukrainian soccer fans. The chant has since spread across Eastern Europe. In June, Russian officials called for the resignation of then-Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya after he joined Kiev protesters in singing the slogan. In July, a group of Ukrainian activists decided to exact revenge by adopting a star and officially naming it “Putin-Huilo”.

After the match, about 100 Ukrainians and 30 Belarusians were initially held and taken to a KGB station in Minsk, according to the Belarusian opposition website Charter ’97. The majority of the detained fans were later released, but eight Ukrainians were placed under arrest for 10 days, 12 local fans were slapped with a $50 fine, and four Ukrainians were given fines of $140, according to Radio Free Europe. The charges vary from hooliganism to the use of foul language.

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