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The rise of Russia’s neo-Nazi football hooligans

Educated young Russians, who had served in the army and seen Europe, who read and spoke French and German and knew contemporary European literature, felt otherwise. Masonic lodges and secret societies flourished in the early s. From their deliberations emerged a conspiracy to overthrow the government, inspired by a variety of ideas: Nicholas I, who succeeded after his elder brother Constantine had finally refused the throne, was deeply affected by these events and set himself against any major political change, though he did not reject the idea of administrative reform.

After the Revolutions of in Europe, his opposition to all change, his suspicion of even mildly liberal ideas, and his insistence on an obscurantist censorship reached their climax. The sections that follow cover the development under Alexander I and Nicholas I of the machinery of government, of social classes and economic forces, of education and political ideas, of the relations between Russians and other peoples within the empire, and of Russian foreign policy. This may be called the debate between enlightened oligarchy and enlightened autocracy.

The proponents of oligarchy looked back to a somewhat idealized model of the reign of Catherine II. They wished greater power to be placed in the hands of the aristocracy for the purpose of achieving a certain balance between the monarch and the social elite, believing that both together were capable of pursuing policies that would benefit the people as a whole. Their opponents, of whom the most talented was the young count Pavel Stroganov, were against any limitation on the power of the tsar. Alexander, however, never quite abandoned the idea of representative institutions.

He encouraged Speransky to prepare in a draft constitution that included a pyramid of consultative elected bodies and a national assembly with some slight powers of legislation. In he asked Nikolay Novosiltsev , a former member of the Unofficial Committee who had made a brilliant career as a bureaucrat , to prepare another constitution, which turned out to be rather similar to the first, although somewhat more conservative and less centralist. Neither was ever implemented , though Alexander took some features of the first, notably the institution of the State Council, and used them out of their intended context.

In Alexander instituted eight government departments, or ministries, of which five were essentially new. The organization of the departments was substantially improved in by Speransky. In the s the Ministry of the Interior became responsible for public order, public health , stocks of food, and the development of industry and agriculture.

Inadequate funds and personnel and the dominant position of the serf-owning nobility in the countryside greatly limited the effective power of this ministry. There was no question of a formal council of ministers, or of anything corresponding to a cabinet, and there was no prime minister. A committee of ministers coordinated to some extent the affairs of the different departments, but its importance depended on circumstances and on individuals.

When the tsar was abroad, the committee was in charge of internal affairs.

General survey

Aleksey Arakcheyev was for a time secretary of the committee, but he did not cease to be the strongest man in Russia under the tsar when he ceased to hold this formal office. The committee had a president, but this office did not confer any significant power or prestige. Under Nicholas I the committee of ministers continued to operate, but the individual ministers were responsible only to the emperor.

The Third Department of the chancery, created in July , under Count Aleksandr Benckendorff , was responsible for the security police. Its head was also chief of gendarmes, and the two offices were later formally united. The task of the security force was to obtain information on the state of political opinion and to track down and repress all political activity that might be considered dangerous to the regime. The Third Department was also considered by the tsar as an instrument of justice in a broad sense, the defender of all those unjustly treated by the powerful and rich.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg - Wikipedia

In addition, the department was often on the worst of terms with other branches of the public service. Russia under Alexander I and Nicholas I was ruled by its bureaucracy. The efforts of successive sovereigns after Peter the Great to establish a government service of the European type had had partial success. The Russian bureaucracy of combined some features of a central European bureaucracy of with some features of pre-Petrine Russia. But the foundation of this ethos was, for the great majority of Russian officials, servile obedience to the tsar and not service to the state as that phrase was understood in a country such as Prussia.

The notion of the state as something distinct from and superior to both ruler and ruled was incomprehensible to most government servants. Russian bureaucrats were obsessed with rank and status. Indeed, because salaries were quite meagre, this was the only incentive that the government could give. Rank was not so much a reward for efficient service as a privilege to be grasped and jealously guarded. In order to prevent able persons, especially of humble origin, from rising too quickly, great emphasis was placed on seniority. There were exceptions, and outstandingly able, cultured , and humane men did reach the top under Nicholas I, but they were few.

The rank and file of the bureaucracy was mediocre, but its numbers steadily increased, perhaps trebling in the first half of the century. It remained poorly paid. Government officials were badly educated. They lacked not only precise knowledge but also the sort of basic ethical training that competent officials need.

They were reluctant to make decisions: Centralization of responsibility meant slowness of decision, and delays of many years were not unusual; death often provided the answer. There were also many antiquated, discriminatory, and contradictory laws. Large categories of the population, such as Jews and members of heretical Christian sects, suffered from various legal disabilities. Since not all those discriminated against were poor and since many small officials were unable to support their families, bending or evasion of the law had its market price, and the needy official had a supplementary source of income.

How to Draw Batman (Comic Book Style) Step by Step - Pencil, Ink, and Colors

Corruption of this sort existed on a mass scale. To a certain extent it was a redeeming feature of the regime: No significant changes were made in the condition of the serfs in the first half of the century. His successor, Nicholas, disliked serfdom, but there were political hazards in eliminating it. The power of the central government extended down to the provincial governors and, more tenuously, down to the ispravnik , or chief official of the district, of which each province had several. The ispravnik was elected by the local nobility.

Below the level of the district, the administration virtually ceased to operate: If serfdom were to be abolished, some other authority would have to be put in its place, and the existing bureaucratic apparatus was plainly inadequate. He was determined to avoid public discussion of reform, even within the upper class. The one important exception to the general picture of bureaucratic stagnation was the creation of the Ministry of State Domains, under Gen. This became an embryonic ministry of agriculture, with authority over peasants who lived on state lands.

These were a little less than half the rural population: Kiselev set up a system of government administration down to the village level and provided for a measure of self-government under which the mayor of the volost a district grouping several villages or peasant communes was elected by male householders. There was also to be a volost court for judging disputes between peasants.

Kiselev planned to improve medical services, build schools, establish warehouses for stocks of food in case of crop failure, and give instruction in methods of farming. Something was done in all these fields, even if less than intended and often in a manner that provoked hostility or even violent riots; the personnel of the new ministry was no more competent than the bureaucracy as a whole. Only minor measures were taken to benefit the serfs on private estates. Opposition to serfdom grew steadily, however, not only among persons of European outlook and independent thought but also among high officials.

It seemed not only unjust but intolerable that in a great nation men and women could be owned. Serfdom was also obviously an obstacle to economic development. Whether serfdom was contrary to the interests of serf owners is a more complex question. Those who wished to abolish it argued that it was, since their best hope of getting the nobility to accept abolition lay in convincing them that their self-interest required it.

Certainly in parts of southern Russia where the soil was fertile, labour was plentiful, and potential profits in the grain trade with Europe were high, a landowner would do better if he could replace his serfs with paid agricultural labour and be rid of obligations to those peasants whom he did not need to employ. In other regions, where the population was scanty, serfdom provided the landowner with an assured labour supply; if it were abolished, he would have to pay more for his labour force or see it melt away.

In large parts of northern Russia where the land was poor, many serfs made a living from various crafts—in cottage industry or even in factories—and from their wages had to pay dues to their masters. The abolition of serfdom would deprive the serf owner of this large income and leave him with only what he could make from farming and from tenants with rather poor economic prospects. On balance, it seems likely that the short-term interests of the great majority of serf owners favoured the maintenance of serfdom, and, in any case, there is no doubt that this is what most serf owners believed.

Industry and trade made slow progress during these years. In the latter part of the 18th century, Russia had been, thanks to its Urals mines, one of the main producers of pig iron. In cotton textiles and sugar refining, Russia was more successful. Count Egor Frantsevich Kankrin , minister of finance from to , tried to encourage Russian industry by high protective tariffs. He also set up schools and specialized institutes for the advancement of commerce, engineering, and forestry. The first railways also appeared; rail traffic between St.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg

Petersburg and Moscow was opened in Zenit's history is tightly connected with the political history of Saint Petersburg , Russia also called "Petrograd" and "Leningrad" at times in its history. In , the first officially-recorded football match in Russia was held in Saint Petersburg on Vasilievsky Island , an unofficial game between the local English team "Ostrov" and the local Russian team "Petrograd," which the English team won, 6—0.

The players of those local teams were amateurs and loosely associated with each other. At the same time, several formal football clubs were founded in Saint Petersburg, mainly around large industrial companies.

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Players' membership was unofficial and very loose, however, sometimes allowing the same players to play for several different teams during the same season. The original Zenit team stemmed from several football teams, which changed names and owners many times during the Soviet era after the Revolution of , as powerful political forces manipulated the careers of individual players as well as the fate of the whole team. The club was renamed several times and its owners and leaders were under political pressure for many decades. The origins of Zenit date back to the beginning of the 20th century to several predecessor teams in Saint Petersburg that were playing locally.

The oldest documented predecessor of Zenit was the team "Murzinka," founded in , which played in the Obukhovsky stadium from until , when the team came to be known as "Bolshevik" the new name for Obukhovsky industry and its stadium. In , another predecessor team of Zenit was formed, of workers from the Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod Leningrad Metal Plant ; they were called the "Stalinets" in the s.

Stalinets translates literally to English as "Stalinist"; however, in Russian, the name is a play on words as stal means "steel" in that language. Historians documented that both predecessor teams of Zenit were playing independently until their official merger at the end of The current name of FC Zenit was registered in as Bolshevik became part of the Zenit sports society and was renamed , three years before the Stalinets merged with it.

The name Zenit means " Zenith ". In , during the rule of Joseph Stalin , Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod became part of the military industry and its sports teams, players, and managers were transferred to the Zenit sports society. FC Zenit was ordered to take in members of the "Stalinets" metallurgical workers' team after the end of the season. The club was always adored in Leningrad, [ citation needed ] but was not able to make much of a significant impact in the Soviet League.

In , Zenit finished last but were saved from relegation because the Soviet leadership decided it would not be prudent to relegate a Leningrad team during the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution , which occurred in the city. Composer Dmitry Shostakovich and film star Kirill Lavrov were well known as ardent supporters of Zenit, a passion that is reflected in their attendance of many games. The LOMO optical plant took up the ownership of the team after the war. After being relegated in the first year of the Russian League , Zenit returned to the top flight in and has been decent since.

They claimed the Russian Cup , finished third in the League in , made the Cup final in , became the runners-up in the Premier League and won the Russian Premier League Cup in In December , Gazprom took a controlling stake in the club. In July , Dick Advocaat [3] took over as Zenit's manager.

Advocaat worked together with his assistant manager, former Netherlands national youth team coach Cor Pot. In the first leg of the quarter-final away game against German side Bayer Leverkusen , the team achieved a 4—1 victory. They qualified for the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history, despite a 1—0 home loss to Leverkusen in the second leg, and were drawn to play further German opposition in the semi-final, Bayern Munich , considered the top team remaining.

Andrey Arshavin was named man of the match. Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the first goal and Danny scored the second, the latter being named man of the match in his debut for Zenit. This position, however, was good enough to earn the club a place in the —09 UEFA Cup last 32, where the team faced VfB Stuttgart for a place in the last 16 of the competition.

After defeating Stuttgart on away goals, Zenit went on to lose 2—1 over two legs against Italian club Udinese. Zenit won the Russian Cup on 16 May after beating Sibir Novosibirsk in the final previously beating Volga Tver in the quarter-finals and Amkar Perm in the semi-finals. After 16 games in the Premier League, with 12 wins and four draws, Zenit claimed 40 points, setting a new Russian Premier League record for most points won at that stage of the campaign.

On 25 August , Zenit lost its first game under Spalletti to French side Auxerre and failed to advance to the Champions League group stage , instead participating in the Europa League. On 3 October, Zenit beat Spartak Nalchik to set another Russian Premier League record for most consecutive games going undefeated, with 21 games since the start of the league season.

On 27 October, however, Zenit suffered its first defeat of the season at the hands of rival club Spartak Moscow , just seven games short of finishing the championship undefeated. On 14 November, Zenit defeated Rostov and two games prior to the end of the season won the championship title, the first in Spalletti's managerial career. Zenit progressed through the knockout stage of the —11 Europa League in first place, then beating Swiss side Young Boys in the Round of Princes, prime ministers and presidents were sent to boost bids from competing nations — but Fifa was playing its own game.

Thu 14 Jun Concacaf, with 35 member associations under its umbrella, was one of them, and it, in turn, reported up to Fifa. Its territory stretched from Panama in the south to Canada in the north, and included the US, as well as all of the Caribbean and the sparsely populated South American countries Suriname and Guyana. Wiry, with glasses over a deeply lined face, he made a point of reminding people that he was a black man who had risen from abject poverty.

That unrivaled discipline gave Concacaf an outsized influence compared with other, larger soccer confederations, which struggled with internal strife and factionalism, splitting their votes, sometimes several ways. It also made Warner, 67 years old at the time, one of the most powerful and feared men in soccer. His position was rarely, if ever, challenged. In exchange for the generous disbursement of money that spilled down through him from the highest reaches of the sport, he expected his member associations to vote exactly as he instructed.

Anyone bidding for the tournament knew that courting Warner was critical. The ExCo vote on where to host both the and World Cups was to be held in Zurich on 2 December , and with just under six months to go, the Concacaf meeting in Johannesburg was viewed as a critical sales opportunity. England was preparing a bid, and was up against a number of competitors. Belgium and the Netherlands had teamed up to make up one rival bid; Spain and Portugal another. Russia had been awarded the Winter Olympics just 18 months earlier, and had been riding nearly a decade of spectacular economic growth, thanks largely to record prices for oil and other natural resources.

The country, and particularly its leader, Vladimir Putin , had been eager to take advantage of that boom to reassert its long-relinquished role as a world power. Winning the right to host the World Cup, watched by hundreds of millions around the world, would undoubtedly be an effective way to help plant that idea, projecting strength and stability. Losing the vote, for Putin, was unthinkable. It did not go well. The Russians, however, were playing a different game.

A sort of commercial trade show for the World Cup itself, the event provided all nine countries competing for the right to host the and tournaments the chance to meet delegates from around the world. In particular, it was an opportunity to mingle with nearly every executive committee member. Subsequently, he supported Putin as a candidate to succeed Yeltsin, and was richly rewarded for his loyalty.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in and moved to London five years later, after selling off many of his Russian holdings. Unlike many oligarchs who left Russia, Abramovich maintained a close relationship with Putin. As a rule, billionaires hate to wait for anything.

But once the bidding expo began, the normally shy and retiring Abramovich, wearing a tailored charcoal suit rather than his usual jeans, made an unusually enthusiastic show of good cheer. A smile plastered over his unshaven jaw, he joined a contingent of his countrymen, including the Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin, in the Russian booth, greeting soccer officials from around the world, and mugging for photographs with David Beckham.