Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

Official: No Victory Day march of Russian hockey fans in Minsk

Belsat / BelaPAN

There will be no march of Russian hockey fans in Minsk, Ivan Kubrakou, head of the interior ministry's public order directorate, told reporters in Minsk on May 6.

The official said that the police would make an all-out effort to maintain public peace during the May 9-25 Ice Hockey World Championship in the Belarusian capital. "We have the experience, everything is being watched and under control," he said.

Russian hockey fans have not formally applied to the authorities for permission to stage a march on May 9, said Mr Kubrakou.

The Belarusian police have been in contact with Russian law enforcement agencies, receiving information about Russian fans traveling to Minsk for the world championship, according to the official. "We are ready to meet them," he said. The police have no confirmation so far that Russia's much-feared soccer fans could descend on Minsk during the tournament, said Mr Kubrakou, adding that the police were ready for their arrival.

In late April, fans of Team Russia expressed plans to march along Minsk’s major streets on May 9, the opening day of the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship and the day marking the 69th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, and take part in commemorative events scheduled by Belarusian authorities for that day.

English subs:

“The opening of the Championship is scheduled on May, 9. Usually we organize some events devoted to Victory Day every year; we are going to organise Russian fans’ march and take part in the events in Minsk. At the moment we are discussing these plans with Russia's embassy to Belarus and the Minsk City council, the latter being responsible for organising and holding the World Championship in Minsk,” Eduard Latypov, President of the fan club Russia Unites, said.