After the mass culls before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, animal rights activists in the World Cup cities of Sochi and Yekaterinburg fear history could be repeating itself
Earlier this year, Russias deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, met with animal rights activist to discuss their fears that stray dogs would be exterminated ahead of the football World Cup. Mutko pledged to stop all cruelty, and said he had ordered the construction of shelters for stray animals.
But activists allege dog killings have continued and that Mutkos words are meaningless as city governments are not compelled to follow recommendations made at a federal level.
If you put it in plain Russian, they said sod off, were going to carry on killing, says Yekaterina Dmitriyeva, the head of NGO the Foundation for the Protection of Urban Animals, who was present at the meeting. She set up the popular Facebook group, Bloody Fifa-2018, last year.