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Pazardzhik - Serbia - Gazprom

An initiative for Cultural Exchange and Youth Diplomacy was launched in Pazardzhik. Part of it is the Serbian Football Club Red Star. In Pazardzhik will be officially launched a European Youth Sports Academy for Politics and Diplomacy. The main objective of the project "Establishment of a European Youth Sports Academy for Politics and Diplomacy" is to improve the quality of governance in youth and sport policy and to promote education through youth activities and sport, with a special focus on skills development. Contract No. 2022-2-BG01-KA220-YOU-000096837 funded by the Erasmus Programme, Key Activity 2, Youth Sector, which focuses on opportunities for the creation, promotion and exchange of good practices in the field of youth and sport.

Just a few days after this initiative between Pazardzhik and Gazprom's sports club in Serbia, another big gas money scandal played out in Bulgarian politics and Pro-Western orientation. Why the West is Failing(was it failed by...) in Bulgaria (

"Today we have launched a project to create a European Youth Sports Academy for Politics and Diplomacy in the city of Pazardzhik!" According to the Mayor of Pazardzhik, Todor Popov, this is one of the first innovative projects that will educate football management, following the model and good example of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. The management of any type of activity is important and that is why we will educate people who will properly carry out these processes. In his words, it is also an honour for Pazardzhik that we will have the opportunity to exchange experiences with our partners.

One of the founders of the Association "Touch the Rainbow" Reneta Kamberova has been leading the sport in Pazardzhik for several years. Reneta Kamberova.She is also the President of the "Youth Sports Club "Pazardzhik Sport".

As in Pazardzhik develops a very successful Association for Youth Policy

Alexander Ivanov is a nephew of the Mayor of Pazardzhik, and is a Municipal Councillor of Pazardzhik Municipality. 2017 - until now, CHAIRMAN of the Youth Policy Council 2016 - until now, CHAIRMAN of the HC "Heber" 2019 - to date

At the same time, a large-scale and extremely ambitious World Peace and Diplomacy project is developing in Pazardzhik. Which is extremely reminiscent of the last Cultural Project of Communism - Assembly of Bells of Peace

An element of the Park was inaugurated together with the Serbian and Belarusian Ambassadors in Pazardzhik, on 21/05/2023

The initiative in Pazardzhik is a natural continuation of an initiative launched in Russia in 2021 for youth diplomacy in the Balkans, involving the same participants and even the Red Star football club

In the international youth forum "Dialogue of Cultures: Russia the Balkans", which was held from 22 to 26 May 2021, students from Bulgaria, Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Crimea, who study at Russian universities, took part. This was reported on the website of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in Bulgaria.The organizer was the Bulgarian Cultural Center "Izvor" with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund.

The forum brought together representatives of various fields such as political science, law, public administration, acting, architecture and others. The goal of the dialogue was to form a positive image of Russian Crimea among young people from Balkan countries and Russia, based on common cultural and historical values, writing and faith.

The news in the Russian media went under the slogan: Peace Among Nations

In Serbia, the second stage of the II International Youth Forum "Dialogue of Cultures: Russia - Balkans" was held on the initiative of the Bulgarian Cultural Center "Izvor" of the Regional Bulgarian national-cultural autonomy of the RK "Paisiya Hilendarskaya" with grant support from the State Committee of Youth Policy of the Republic of Crimea and with the assistance of the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Committee on Interethnic Relations of the RK, the House of Friendship of Peoples. At the conference the Crimeans presented their activities in the framework of the projects "United World of Cyrillic" and "Dialogue of Cultures: Russia - the Balkans", an international program of the Crimean Federal University named after V.I. Vernadsky. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University.

The landmark meeting was held at the stadium of the Crvena Zvezda soccer club, whose fans are known for their mass actions in support of Russia. The Crimeans visited the museum of the renowned Serbian champion club and gave the Crimean "Tavria" a ball with the symbols of a special military operation and the words "We do not abandon our own". In turn, "Crvena Zvezda" gave the Crimean players its branded ball.

The supporters of the Serbian Football Club- Red Star, financed by the Russian Gazprom, the only professional international club that has joined the Peace Initiatives in Pazardzhik, are also known even in distant China for their calls for World Peace:

As well as a critic of NATO and the EU:

But they are best known for their support of Russia:

Serbia, Russia's close ally

Slavic Brotherhood

Bulgaria's experience in supporting Russia is rich. Perhaps one of the reasons the project is funded by the EU.

Serbian Support for the Peace

Putin on the Red Star Stadium

For Serbians, Vladimir Putin is regarded as the epitome of strength, will and determination. The perfect male specimen of the Slavic region, undeterred in his resolve, Vladimir Putin has achieved saint-like status for the majority of the population who would confess, to gladly have a man like him lead the Serbian government.

Red Star and Spartak Moscow

Red Star have a solid connection to the fans of FC Spartak Moscow, and the two clubs recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of their brotherhood.

Orthodox Brothers as they are called, Partizan Belgrade and CSKA Moscow fans form a trinity with the fans of Greek side PAOK FC. This orthodox brotherhood which has intensified in recent years, has been expressed at basketball games even more than on football fields, and represents another aspect of the close relationship between Serbians and Russians. A group of Russian fans from Moscow travelled around the world to support their Serbian brothers in their attempt to reach Europe’s elite competition.

Russian fans raised Serbian flags with the inscription "Kosovo is Serbia"

Serbia and Russia share a powerful bond that has long outgrown its political aspect. The two countries have maintained a close diplomatic relations since 1838, and their unlikely brotherhood has become stronger than ever in recent years. As Russia backed Serbia over the Kosovo issue, Serbia, in turn, has backed Russia over Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Crimea.

In World War I, the bilateral relations between Serbia and Russia were so close that the Russian Empire was regarded by the Serbian people as its protector and its only real ally. This bond continued after World War I.

The orthodox faith, in particular, has been a strengthening agent in the relationship between the two countries. Because football is an important aspect of the social life of Serbia, it has often been used as a vehicle to display publicly Serbia’s great attachment to the Russian nation.

Who are Red Star Belgrade

Red Star Belgrade has signed in 2010 a multi-million dollar long term contract with Russian energy giant Gazprom. Red Star shirt are branded with Gazprom's logo for more than 10 years. The contract is worth about US$3.8 million annually. Gazprom is the shirt sponsor of the first team and all youth teams of the club, and receive significant advertising place on perimeter boards and TV ad time during broadcasts of Red Star matches. Also, a representative of Gazprom is on the club's management board. Both sides said that 23 per cent of the total sum will be invested in the development of young players at the club.

Who are the Red Star Belgrade supporters and what Pazardzhik supporters could learn

In the 80's a boom of soccer fans all over the world begins - and 2 big fan groups appear in the North Stand: ULTRAS and RED DEVIL. The Ultras used the Italian style with long and melodic songs, fireworks, choreography, while the Red Devils preached the Serbian way of cheering, which was often mixed with the English way of drinking, constantly fighting with rival fans and using marijuana. The leaders of these two fan groups were not aware of the fact that they became the idols of the young generation who attended the matches in large numbers. These two groups were constantly causing disturbances in the stadiums, which led to conflicts with the police and very often the Ultras and Red Devils were arrested. In the mid 80's the Ultras and Red Devils were strengthened by another new group - ZULU WARRIORS. These 3 fan groups became the backbone of the North and with the help of other companies like WINNERS, RED WHITE ANGELS, BRIGATE, EAGLES, R.S. CLAN, R.S. ARMY, made their opponents tremble.

In the late 80's a strong nationalism came to the country and the DH fans, in the spirit of their tradition, declared themselves as hardcore Serbian nationalists, but made it clear that the club for them is the most important part in the world - much stronger than political differences. At that time, the leading Croatian fan groups, under the patronage of HDZ (the leading political party) created several "coalitions" (which did not help them in the future), but the "Gypsies" always stressed that their main enemies were the Partizan fans.

It is understandable that in ethnically heterogeneous Yugoslavia already in the 80's, when Europe was hit by a soccer hooliganism boom, fan wars began. Both Croats and Muslims were declared enemies of the Grobarians and Delije. The first mass incident involving the Grobarians and Delije occurred during the 1989 derby. "Red Star" beat "Partizan" by a goal scored in the finishing stretch, which instantly found "understanding" in the ranks of "heroes". 250 Delije representatives broke through security and ran onto the field to congratulate their team.

Most of the young groups united in one of the strongest Serbian fan firms - Belgrade Boys - their incidents became very famous. They still speak of the surprising clash with United Force, FC Rad fans (the best "fresh blood" on the Serbian fan scene), when in season 96-97 a fight between 400 fans took place, 3 of them were seriously wounded with knives, 22 were arrested. The Belgrade Boys performed several actions that became a "new milestone": 40 Bgd-Boys ambushed the train with Partizan fans and fought until they lost their strength. Even now when the police laws have become stricter, the Delijes continue their style with songs, choreography and incidents. In 2000/2001 season Delije got into one of the big fights with the police at the match against Torpedo (Georgia) in the Champions League qualifying, the fight started on the 35th minute of the match and lasted 1,5 hours.By 2010, Delije consist of four larger groups: Belgrade Boys, Ultra Boys, Heroes, and Brigate.

Ultra Boys Nazi salute

Burning the Albanian Flag

In general, Pazardzhik has a long history after joining the EU and NATO in building fraternal relations with Russia

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