Two Russian soccer fans who were arrested in France for creating disturbances during the Euro 2016 games arrived in Moscow on January 18 after being deported.
Alexei Yerunov and Sergei Gorbachev told reporters upon arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport that their monthslong imprisonment in France was "politically motivated."
The two were arrested after a brawl broke out between Russian and English fans on June 11 ahead of a match between their teams in Marseilles, injuring more than 30 people.
French law enforcement used tear gas, smoke pellets, and water cannons to disperse the brawlers.
On June 14, French policemen stopped a bus with 43 Russian football fans en route from Marseille to Lille, where the Russian team was to due to play against Slovakia. The fans were put into temporary custody but most were quickly released.
A court in Marseille in mid-June sentenced Yerunov, Gorbachev, and a third fan, Nikolai Morozov, to prison terms ranging from 12 to 24 months after finding them guilty of taking part in mass disturbances.
Morozov was released and sent back to Russia last month.
Based on reporting by TASS, Vestnik Kavkaza, and Daijiworld.com