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An infamous Russian football hooligan fighting for President Vladimir Putin's forces in Ukraine has died – and his funeral has caused a stir.
Maxim Shmanin was killed in Vuhledar on October 29.
The 44-year-old was a die-hard fan of Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow and fought for the Russian Espanola volunteer unit, which is made up of football fans, firms and hooligans.
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It is not know exactly how he died, but his funeral saw thousands of football fans attend in what appears to be a massive open field.
The flag of CSKA Moscow was draped over the open coffin, while friends and family were pictured gathering round it.
Video footage from the funeral was shared on Telegram channel Grey Zone.
A spokesman for the group said: “Espanyola is organized by a well-known fan of one of the Moscow football clubs with the nickname 'The Spaniard'.
“Previously in 2014-2015, he was in charge of a reconnaissance company in Horlivka, Donetsk, and was a personal assistant to the commander of the Horliv Militia, Igor 'Bes' Bezler.”
A video from the funeral shows the group of fans lighting bright red flares and holding them up in absolute silence.
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The camera pans around the area to show the shear vast amount of fans who turned out to pay their respects to Shamanin.
His nickname was Platzkart, the Russian word for Soviet-era communal flats on wheels – essentially a rather large communal caravan used for cheap housing.
Pictures of the man on the frontline quickly emerged, showing him holding a gun and donning full Russia Army uniform.
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CSKA Moscow, which sits third in the Russian Premier League behind Spartak and table toppers Zenit St Petersburg, play Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday at the club's home ground of the VEB Arena in Moscow – just a 30-minute drive from Putin's Kremlin home.
It is not yet know if the club will pay tribute to him but sources on social media claim this could be the case as he was known for being one of the club's biggest fans.
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- Premier League
- Vladimir Putin
- Russia Ukraine war
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