World Cup fans who gathered in the streets of Russian cities were treated differently from locals who do the same
Spontaneous public gatherings are rare in Russia today. The right to free assembly is guaranteed by the constitution but anti-Kremlin demonstrations are often denied a permit, allowing police to break them up.
Protests against pension reforms, announced on the first day of the tournament, were permitted this weekend, but did not target Mr Putin personally.
Crowds of people swarmed down the streets of Moscow and other major cities, shouting and waving flags. Police stood back with a smile as boisterous groups cried out songs and slogans. Mexicans…