chapter  12
The unlikely alliance of Ukrainian football ultras
ByMaryna Krugliak, Oleksandr Krugliak
Pages 15

This chapter depicts the history of the fan movement in Ukrainian football, provides a short character study of Ukrainian ultras, and demonstrates how the relationship between the bitter enemies changed during and after the political revolution known as 'Euromaidan' or the 'Revolution of Dignity'. The historians examine Ukrainian nationalist parties as marginal neo-fascist organisations with many football hooligans among their supporters. The study of the football fan movement in independent Ukraine remains a blank spot in international academic research. However, Ukrainian ultras were able to overcome differences and conflicting views in the name of common goals: expressing discontent over a biased legal system (the Dmitry Pavlichenko case), defending democratic values against the dictatorship of Viktor Yanukovych (the Revolution of Dignity), and promoting the unity of Ukraine. The Pavlichenko case is the first example of how opposing groups of ultras united in the fight for the highest of their values: the protection of their comrades from 'police injustice'.