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“Glory to Ukraine” – Croatian football players’ video and FIFA’s reaction
InformNapalm ^ | 07/15/2017 | Artem Velichko

Posted on 07/15/2018 7:02:21 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian

The private video filmed after the Croatia Russia match, FIFA’s reaction to it aimed to please the Russian Federation and the chain of ensuing events provoked a powerful international social and media response which exposed Russian propaganda narratives, uncovered a few painful truths as well as raised uncomfortable questions challenging some conventional western myths about Ukraine, Russia, FIFA, Facebook and western politics.

Let us quickly look back at the facts. On July 7, 2018, Croatian team defeated Russians on penalties at the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter finals. After the match, Croatia’s defender Domagoj Vida and assistant coach Ognjen Vukojević, both of whom had previously played for the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv, recorded a video message for their friends in Ukraine where they dedicated their victory to the Ukrainians with the words “Glory to Ukraine!”

The video was widely cheered in Ukraine, but caused a broad public and media outrage in Russia. FIFA called it a “political statement”, threatened to disqualify Vida and later fined Vukojević CHF15,000 for “unsportsmanlike conduct”. The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) fired Vukojević from the national team’s coaching staff and officially “apologized to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation”. Before the match with England, Croatian fans unfolded a huge banner with “Thank you, Russia” written over it, whereas this “spontaneous display of gratitude” was aired by the RT. Vida was subsequently loudly booed by the Russian fans whenever he got the ball on the playing field. Russia 1 state TV channel devoted a whole talk show to the video in a generally strongly negative tone. Russian politicians and bloggers alike were heard calling Croats “traitors of the Slavic unity” and fascists.

Western media, while reporting on the incident, reiterated the rhetoric of the Russian propaganda branding the slogan as “nationalistic” and “politically controversial” and firmly tying its context to WW2, whereas it easy to establish that the slogan was born decades before, during Ukraine’s struggle for independence in 1918-1920 ( ).

FIFA’s actions led to a social media explosion among Ukrainians. More than 158,000 Facebook users staged a storm on the official FIFA page giving it a one-star rating and writing the words “Glory to Ukraine” in the comments in different languages. FIFA’s rating plunged from around 5 to 1.1 in a matter of days. Thereafter the rating functionality was removed from the federation’s pages on Facebook and Google Maps. Facebook went on subjecting some of the Ukrainian users who participated in the FIFA-bashing flashmob to additional cumbersome identity checks or giving them short-term bans. Maxim Savanevsky, a Ukrainian video blogger and an IT and media expert compiled a viral video ( containing bits of speeches by politicians and leaders of various countries who used the slogan “Glory to Ukraine” from the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

There was also an official response from the Ukrainian side. Football Federation of Ukraine sent a letter to FIFA supporting Domagoj Vida and Ognjen Vukojević, stating the “Glory to Ukraine” is a commonly used greeting in Ukraine… (and) should not be interpreted as an act of aggression or provocation, ” the letter said. It was apparently ignored by FIFA.

Russian propaganda narratives and popular western myths

“Russians and Ukrainians are brotherly nations” – a phrase Putin never tires to repeat. However, the sour reaction of the general Russian public to the full Ukrainian equivalent of the “Vive la France!” slogan shows that Russian society is rife with anti-Ukrainian sentiment and imperialist chauvinism.

“Putin is the problem, Russians are OK” – a mantra embraced by many liberal politicians and journalists in the West. However, the public reaction towards Vida and Vukojević as well as Croatians as a nation shows that the mass aggression in Russia could be easily manipulated and channeled in the desired direction. State media are fuelling a mobilization mentality upholding the feeling that Russia is “besieged with enemies”, and these narratives fall on a fertile ground. Apparently the conflict of the collective West with Russia is on a much deeper level of values and ideology, rather than just politics.

“Sports are not connected to politics” – a very old fallacy dating back to the antiquity. Since Athens and Sparta had to suspend the never-ending war to hold the Olympics, sports and politics have gone hand in hand. In the 21st century they are as close as ever. So, if Russia is not at a hybrid war with Ukraine, why should the “Glory to Ukraine” be regarded as offensive to the “Russian public” and why would it necessitate formal apologies and exemplary disciplinary actions from both FIFA and HNS? Apparently both FIFA and HNS are well aware of the “regional particularities” and of the political undertones of the “Glory to Ukraine” slogan given the context of the time and place where it was uttered by two Croatians.

“Facebok is an impartial social platform” – a myth, Ukrainians experience first-hand on a daily basis. Pro-Ukrainian bloggers and ordinary users get blocked for weeks and months for “hate-speech” based on clearly robot-generated reports on posts and comments written years ago. And the network’s administration does nothing to stop it, shrugging off relevant calls for action and criticisms. At the same time, Facebook has been very swift in looking for “bot-generated activity” behind the brilliant Ukrainian initiative of “give FIFA one star”. After all, people who flocked to the FIFA’s official FB page, apart from “Glory to Ukraine” wrote a lot of keen criticisms. All of the comments were deleted together with the rating functionality.

“FIFA is impartial, apolitical and honest ” – where was its judgment when they finally agreed to hold the Cup in Russia? They had full four years to reconsider and strip Russia of hosting the World Cup after news started coming thick and fast about the invasion in Crimea and Donbas, MH17 and war crimes in Syria. And in light of the praise lavished by Gianni Infantino on Russia and its murderous leadership and of his insistence that “the legacy [of the WC] will put Russia on the top of countries in football around the world” ( The position of the Federation’s leadership looks hypocritical and calls into serious question its integrity. Apparently, FIFA consciously gave Putin’s regime a carte-blanche to massively whitewash its image.

“Western politicians are all about values, integrity, rule of law and civil freedoms” – none of the important football countries chose to boycott the bloody World Cup, despite Russia’s dismal performance in terms of civil rights, freedom of speech, journalist security and observance of the international law. For one, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the president of Croatia, was seen together with Dmitry Medvadev and Gianni Infantino chatting merrily at the WC. Was she forging informal ties to Russia? Did she have a hand in the “Thank you, Russia” banner?


The situation around Vida and Vukojević managed something that dozens of thousands of Ukrainian casualties failed to do. It brought Russia’s aggression against Ukraine back into the mainstream of the international and specifically western media. However, international and specifically European attendance of the WC matches in Russia as well as reluctance of the world football nations to boycott the bloody WC in Russia unfortunately tell us that civilizational values are eclipsed by “panem et circenses” in the collective West.

TOPICS: Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: croatia; russia; soccer; ukraine
More info at InformNapalm about recent Russian "activity" in Ukraine.
1 posted on 07/15/2018 7:02:21 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian
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To: Leo Carpathian

It’s not that Croatians are anti-Russian people. They still see them as part of the greater Slavic brotherhood...albeit Serbs are Orthodox, and like Russians use the Cyrillic alphabet and Croats are Catholic who use Latin...

But the crux is the notion of independence...and of sovereignty and ethnic distinctiveness. “Yugoslavia” was lumped together the way the Soviet Union was... Small countries like Croatia can understand and emphathize with Ukraine in terms of wanting to be taken seriously as a distinct entity.

2 posted on 07/15/2018 7:20:02 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Serbia and Croatia are enemies, and Russia is the traditional ally of Serbia.

3 posted on 07/15/2018 7:21:29 AM PDT by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
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To: Leo Carpathian

And yes saying “Glory to Ukraine” in Russia is punishable by arrest. As well as challengig the State line on Crimea. Russian professors have lost tenure over the matter.

4 posted on 07/15/2018 7:21:59 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: dfwgator

I know. These ethnic squabbles get to be a bit ridiculous really. Kinda like the Middle East.

5 posted on 07/15/2018 7:22:48 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: Leo Carpathian

Didn’t know EU countries had football..

OH.. Wait..

You mean the pussyball socialist panzygame?

At least Japan still calls it soccer :p

6 posted on 07/15/2018 7:31:21 AM PDT by Bikkuri
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Some think this soccer match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade in 1990 went a long way towards triggering the war between Serbia and Croatia

7 posted on 07/15/2018 7:42:42 AM PDT by dfwgator (Endut! Hoch Hech!)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

saying things in Russia punishable by arrest....

Here in the free USA the Papa John founder can say anything he wants because we have freedom of speech.

And professors at liberal universities are free to analyze politics and say that Trump has done a lot of things that have been beneficial in his opinion.

And small groups can gather to cheer Trump on without fear of being attacked,gassed and beaten while police look on with folded arms.

And Ivanka can have clothes sold in major stores without mob pressure to strip them out of stock due to her father’s beliefs.

And we can all be complacent and relaxed. Maybe.

8 posted on 07/15/2018 7:48:50 AM PDT by frank ballenger (End non-citizen voting ,vote fraud & leftist media news censorship or we're finished.)
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To: Leo Carpathian

9 posted on 07/15/2018 7:50:32 AM PDT by mac_truck (aide toi et dieu t'aidera)
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To: Bikkuri
"Didn’t know EU countries had football.. OH.. Wait.. You mean the pussyball socialist panzygame? At least Japan still calls it soccer :p"

Japan's Rugby team is called the "Brave Blossoms." Amazing how Japan LOVES rugby! Nothing pussyball about rugby. LOL! US Eagles beat Russia, then went on to beat Scotland (Tier 1!!). Yay, us!

10 posted on 07/15/2018 7:50:48 AM PDT by redhead (PRAYfor little ones in pedo pipeline: human livestock, raped, tortured, and often sacrificed.)
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To: Leo Carpathian

Excellent! Ef Putin.

11 posted on 07/15/2018 7:57:51 AM PDT by rrrod (just an old guy with a gun in his pocket)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Kako-si !

12 posted on 07/15/2018 8:04:33 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Baseball players, gangsters and musicians are remembered. But journalists are forgotten.)
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To: Leo Carpathian

Had no idea but eye-opening. Imagine if Mexico declared the SW US a province and held part of its territory today killing over 10,000 Americans while doing so.

That’s what you have with Russia in eastern Ukraine today. Here it’s FIFA siding with Russia (Mexico).

Ok, 18 minutes in and France’s Greizmann has dived outside the box to get a free kick and with it a goal.

13 posted on 07/15/2018 8:19:25 AM PDT by romanesq (For George Soros so loved the world, he gave us Obama)
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To: romanesq

Well I completely understand your analogy the Mexican military wouldn’t even be able to take it

14 posted on 07/15/2018 8:32:50 AM PDT by mrmeyer (You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Robert Heinlein)
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To: frank ballenger

Those situations are still not comparable to the State repression present in China, Russia, Muslim countries et al. At the end of the day, Trump wins due to Twitter and his opportunities to counter the media establishment. is a thriving website. American culture of free speech and exchange of information still carries the day. And even getting to type on this website without restraint is proof of that reality.

15 posted on 07/15/2018 8:37:16 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: mrmeyer

“...the Mexican military wouldn’t even be able to take it.”

Well, what if they used in place of “little green men” they went with drug cartels?

16 posted on 07/15/2018 9:41:18 AM PDT by romanesq (For George Soros so loved the world, he gave us Obama)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

You are of course right and if I were not in a low mood due to a lot of rotten things going on I would be less self-pitying about the mostly commercial losses for attempting freedom of speech.

I just read in my daily Bible commentary readings (Psalm 42 one today) that “You will thank Him for the salvation that comes from His Presence through the afflictions He sends to cleanse you.” Artscroll, 2018, Psalms (Kesuvim)With A commentary Anthologized from the Rabbinic Writings.

Dems give me a lot of tests and aggravations to try to upgrade my character. Sorry I fail, unlike Job.

Thanks for your insightful post to keep my on the beam.

17 posted on 07/15/2018 1:17:01 PM PDT by frank ballenger (End non-citizen voting ,vote fraud & leftist media news censorship or we're finished.)
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To: mac_truck

lol he drives a truck Just like YOU!!!

18 posted on 07/18/2018 6:15:09 AM PDT by edzo4 ("Well I truly would be thrilled if all/most of the Q stuff turns out to be real")
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