The story about big tragedy when 65 to 300 Spartak Moscow fans lost their lives

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Hidden stadium tragedy from Soviet Union times.

On this day, 36 years ago, big tragedy happened in Moscow. Unlike Hillsborough or Heysel, this story was well hidden by KGB and communist authorities. Because of that there are no photos or videos, but we bring you full story.

The story about tragedy.

On October 20, 1982, at the Luzhniki Stadium (at that time, the Central Lenin Stadium), the football match of the 1/16 finals of the UEFA Cup match between Spartak clubs Moscow (USSR) and Harlem (Netherlands) was held.

Of the 82,000 tickets for match games, only 16,643 were sold, because on the eve of the match in Moscow, the first snow fell, and the day of the match turned out to be frosty in autumn (-10 ° C). In 1982, the stadium was not yet equipped with a roof over the stands. By the beginning of the game, they managed to clear the snow and open for the fans only two stands: “C” (eastern) and “A” (western).

Both stands accommodated 23,000 spectators each, which was significantly more than the number of tickets sold. The overwhelming majority of fans came to support “Spartak”,there were only about a hundred Dutch fans. Almost all of the spectators were placed on the Eastern stand, which is now called the stands of С. From the stand to the exits from the stadium led by two staircases at different ends of the tribune corridor.


The match began at 19:00 PM. Already in the 16th minute of the game Edgar Gess scored from a free kick the first goal in gate "Haarlem". Toward the end of the match, not expecting more goals, a significant part of the rather frozen fans began to leave their places in the stands and headed for the exits. In just 20 seconds before the final whistle, Sergey Shvetsov scored a second goal against Haarlem.

At about the same time, a crush began on the number 1 staircase of the tribune “C” in the under-stands of the stadium. The stair railing failed and flew off to the side, people began to fall down over the concrete floor. Only the dead and those who lost consciousness were left at the bottom of the stairs. Somebody could still be helped, but among the spectators of random passers-by, doctors could not break through the dense chain of militia of the military who surrounded the place of the tragedy. When the ambulance arrived, first at rest, the Institute of ambulance to them. Sklifosovsky hospital took the victims away - four or five people in the car. The bodies of the dead first were transferred to the monument of Lenin outside the stadium, and then transported to Moscow morgues and returned to relatives for burial after conducting a medical examination and identification.

66 fans died according to official data, and 61 people suffered. According to unofficial information, which was not been disclosed for many years, about 340 people lost their lives that day. Amir Khuslyutdinov says: “The man who stamped the funeral documents of the fans who died in the crush said that 102 documents were prepared then, I think it is closer to the real figure. Rumors about 300 people are most likely nothing more than stories. ”


Sitting on the stands with C tribune was closely, but the police did not need to disperse forces. Because of various cries from the tribune, police began to deduce people. After this people started throwing at them snowballs. At first there were timid solitary attempts, but gradually the shelling intensified. The police still didn’t pass on a mini-uniform, so that those who were in their caps. After well-aimed throws of the opposing sides, they flew off their heads under joyful laughter.

The official version of what happened 36 years ago: the tragedy occurred at the very end of the second half, when Spartak won with a score of 1: 0 and fans pulled from the “C” podium, where the police were holding them all, to the exit. At this point, the Spartak team scored another goal, and people descending the stairs to the lobby again tried to break through to the podium. Police officers could not organize the movement of the crowd, a crush began, the stair railing broke down, and people began to fall and crush each other. There is little truth in this version, the police were not there, except that a couple of law enforcement officers stood somewhere nearby and did nothing. It should be noted that among the dead there was not a single policeman. So the police decided to recoup the fans for the fact that the last mocked them the whole match, throwing snowballs. This version helped to avoid the responsibility of all the real guilty.

According to another popular version, on the podium C only one staircase and a partially open gate were accessible to the exit. The exit from the tribune C was arranged as follows: two large staircases are coming out of which four marching out. Of the four stairs were closed three. And at the bottom of the fourth, someone slid the grill in such a way that no more than one person could pass through it at the same time. This mass of people flowed straight down this ladder down to the bottleneck in the form of a recessed grille. The railing at the staircase was not weak - the rods were embedded in each step, and there was welding at the corner. There was so much pressure from the bodies that these metal bars were arched out. People began to fall from a height of 2-3 meters. Those who simply broke their limbs were lucky, but those who remained lying under the rubble of people and did not manage to get out was killed by suffocation. Many victims had squeezed inside the chest. That is, the pressure was powerful. People literally pressed. Almost everyone died from the same diagnosis, from suffocation. The “offended” police officers thus wanted to “annoy” the fans for their hooligan behavior during the match. According to eyewitnesses, the police pushed people to the exit. They pushed from the stands and in the corridor.

Searching for the truth by relatives

When night fell on Moscow, no one who wanted to go home, did not return. Parents rushed to the police department, and they couldn’t reply to the notes — there was no information. Then they rushed to the "Luzhniki" stadium, which was cordoned off. Through the cordon, that they could not allowed, and they stood in a line of ranks, losing themselves out of being known.

Then, in the morning, they rushed to the post-morgue morgues, trying to identify and being afraid to identify the bodies of their sons. They were waiting for a long thirteen days, for it was only then that the nameless, recently high-ranking order was left to rest and bury their children.

Their bodies, already in the coffins, were allowed to be brought home on the way to the cemetery. Exactly for 40 minutes - small. Say goodbye in the presence of police. Izaty is organized, by eskort is the last way. The only thing that they were allowed to do themselves was choose cemeteries. They chose different years ago, begging, they regret that it was not often that they were the skies of them, the sisters and brothers with the misfortune, as they were courting them. However, it seems that everything was thought out — the authorities didn’t need a memorial, and it was not easy to find graves on different cemeteries.

The most important question of parents was: who is to blame for their children? - And the answer immediately: the children themselves. Created a tense atmosphere. Because blood and spilled. Will you still have someone else's blood? Just wait, the trial will begin.


Their parents did not want to shed blood. They didn't want revenge, they just wanted to teach a lesson. That this tragedy was not repeated. But no one heard their voice, letters addressed to the highest authorities remained unanswered.

We were sick of only one thing — to know the true culprits of the death of our children,” the voice of Nina Alexandrovna Novostroeva, who lost the fateful day of her only son, trembles. - A man who has worked at a stadium without a year a week cannot answer about happened. But the truth was surrounded for us all these years by a conspiracy of silence or lies. Whatever we didn’t find the truth. As they could not find the personal belongings of the dead, the children were given us completely naked.

How could these years (1982–1989) not immediately fall into the day of the anniversary of their death? How they could not get help in establishing the monuments on their graves — all the promises of help to the day of the funeral turned out to be an empty sound. They called hooligans. Who of these people knew our children during his life, to expose them to their rogue after death? How to break through this routine of callousness, ossification, indifference? Of course, not everyone was so hard-heartedly heartless. We remind us that some police officers told us about the pain of the tragedy. Let us recall the words of those who tried, sparingly their lives, to save our children. We can forgive those who tacitly endorsed the fuss around this tragedy.

- They demanded to bring the characteristics from the place of study, took the analysis of the alcohol content from the dead, and said to the husbands who were in the CPSU: “Take your wives off” -threatened with expulsion from the party, held during promotion! That is the words of Ms. Novostrueva, whose son Michael was also a student of a technical school.

- Oleg was not particularly interested in football, - said Ms. Nina Borisova, in turn. - He was playing hockey. But the committee of the Komsomol Technical School issued tickets for the match with parting words: "You must support our Soviet team." And the son said he could not go. And then from our children began to deliberately do bullies.

— Authorities weren’t afraid of us, they were afraid of the Spartak fans — said Raisa Victorovna about. — I wasn’t on the court is, because the summons was sent only in the husband's name. I did hots! I don't care that time was. Still a little time passed and we were ready all the police to tear. The case consisted of 12 volumes. However, the court took one day. The court came to the conclusion, that what was happened, was only an accident, and punished one of the commandant. Many years later, an investigator by the name of Speer, who was involved in our case, fell ill. His tortured conscience, and he wanted to apologize to us parents for what went on about the authorities, but did not have time. And we from the first day knew that the fault of the police. When a year later they came to the place of death of our children, in order to honor their memory, KGB men with impenetrable faces in black jackets and ties stood around. We were not even allowed to lay flowers. We threw them through the fence. All kinds of obstacles have been repaired for almost ten years. By the tenth anniversary, a memorial was erected in the Luzhniki Stadium, and I bow low to the people who paid attention to us, found sponsors.

Yuri L. Zazulenko’s opinion about the help caused violent emotions:
- We were compensated only for the cost of clothes that were on the dead, and also paid for the funeral. What kind of help could there be? We were not allowed to erect a monument for ten years.
The Soviet authorities tried to hide information about the tragedy. The first publication about the circumstances and victims of this tragedy appeared in the press only six years later, on July 8, 1989, with the advent of glasnost.
I was presented with ridiculous accusations,” said the former commandant, who was made guilty of the tragedy. One of the points said that I could not establish the right relationship with law enforcement. In fact, the trouble happened because of the police from the very beginning aggravated the situation, its employees behaved tactlessly towards the fans.

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Events dedicated to the tragedy

- match of veterans of 2007
October 20, 2007 at the stadium "Luzhniki" was a match of memory between the veterans of "Spartak" and "Haarlem", dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the tragedy. The participants of the game of 1982, including with Rinat Dasaev, Sergey Rodionov, Fyodor Cherenkov, Sergey Shvetsov, the Dutch Edward Metgood, Kate Masefield, Frank van Leyen, Peter Ker and others played in it.
- fan tournaments. Memory Cup
Since 2008, the tournament of mini-football in Memory Cup of "October 20" - the largest sports event, held under the auspices of the association "Fratria". The tournament gathers 70–80 fan amateur teams (both Spartak and teams of fans of friendly clubs) from different cities of Russia, the CIS and Europe. By tradition, the winner of this tournament meets with the team of the coaching staff of "Spartak". In 2017 on the 10th anniversary, “Memory Cup” was attended by 70 teams. The opening of the tournament are always visited by veterans of FC Spartak, who played in that memorable match, representatives of clubs of the Spartak society, as well as relatives of the deceased fans.

For the 10-year history of the tournament, teams of fans from the following clubs took part in it:
- Torpedo (Moscow)
- Fakel (Voronezh)
- Rostov (Rostov-on-Don)
- Baltika (Kaliningrad)
- Ural (Ekaterinburg)
- FC Nizhniy Novgorod
- Torpedo (Vladimir)
- FC Orel
- Khimki (Moscow region)
- Crvena Zvezda (Belgrade, Serbia)
- Ventspils (Latvia)
- Jagiellonia (Bialystok, Poland)
- Dynamo (Dresden, Germany)
- Gomel (Belarus)
- Chernomorets (Odessa, Ukraine)
- Metallist (Kharkiv, Ukraine)


Visiting the monument with the laying of wreaths.

In 1992, a monument to the “Lost in the World Stadiums” was erected on the territory of the Luzhniki sports complex (architect George Lunacharsky, sculptor Mikhail Skovorodin). The plate of the memorial has a words: "This monument was erected for children who died on October 20, 1982 after the football match between "Spartak" and Haarlem from Holland. Remember them".

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Every year, on October 20, hundreds of fans came to the monument at the Luzhniki Stadium: they laying flowers, singing songs and lighting 66 fireworks in memory of 66 officially dead. To honor the memory of the deceased fans always coming veterans of "Spartak", the participants of those events, the current players of the club and the coaching staff.

The memory of fans during games

When the matches of the football club fall on the dates of the tragedy, the players are going to the match with mourning bandages, or in the “Remember ...” themed T-shirts, a minute of silence is announced.

The help and communication with relatives

Amir Khuslyutdinov: “Many parents had the only children in their families (then many of them did not give birth already), this is a huge tragedy, it cannot be fixed with anything, even with money. Parents first of all need attention. Every month we come to some relatives, we help financially, some with tea and talking the whole evening. Money, of course, is also an important thing for them, a neighbor was handled there or a monument at the cemetery is fixed (up to a thousand and a half dollars the price of work comes up). Of course, we help them in this.

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Plans for the future

There is an idea of a joint action with a football club. Another step will be the installation of a memorial at the new stadium. Let, the date of October 20, 1982 is forever inscribed in history with a black page, it is still our history. Time passes, people come and go, but memory lives forever. Such an event is obliged to find a place to reflect on the territory of our new stadium.

And the most important goal. Since the investigation into the tragedy has not conducted at the proper level, the details of the incident and the exact number of dead and injured has not been established, we are the fans of Spartak, would like to bring more clarity to this tragic story. To the end, our plans are to organize a crowdfunding fundraising project. We will continue the investigation and try to get to the truth, which the authorities have diligently kept from us. This is a tragedy not only red and white people, but the entire football world. It seems to us that it is better late than never. The points above the “i” in this story should be placed ...