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EURO 2012: Fans fight before, after Poland-Russia game (VIDEO)

Hundreds involved in brawls at European soccer championship.
Fans fight poland russiaEnlarge
Polish and Russian fans fight in Warsaw on June 12, 2012, before their countries played a Euro 2012 soccer match. Police used a water cannon and tear gas on unruly Euro 2012 fans as Poland geared up to play old foe Russia in a must-win Euro 2012 match. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Hundreds of Polish and Russian soccer fans fought in the streets before and after their nations clashed on the pitch today at the European championships in Warsaw.

It’s Russia Day – the day the Soviet Union dissolved – and thousands of Russian fans marched together to the stadium.

Given the long history of Soviet rule over Poland, most recently during the Cold War, Poles took exception and violence erupted.

It was also a dire situation for Poland in the standings; the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Afterwards, police fired rubber bullets at a group of fans attacked them with glass bottles, The Associated Press said.

AP reported seeing fans wearing Polish T-shirts and another saying he just hated police.
The post-game violence wasn’t related to earlier skirmishes.

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It took water cannons and tear gas to break up thousands of fans who faced off before the game, Reuters reported.

Police eventually stopped the Russians from marching together in an effort to regain control.

A security official said police detained 56 people from about 100 who were involved, according to Reuters.

The brawl brought condemnation from both sides – against their own, evidently.

The AP reported seeing groups of Polish fans fighting among themselves, and one Russian supporter criticized his countrymen for marching together.

“The march, it wasn’t right. It was a provocation. It shouldn’t happen like this. But there are also aggressive Poles and we are scared here,” the fan told the AP.

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