As the World Cup approaches, street dogs are being ruthlessly eliminated. Fifa and animal-loving footballers must step up

With two weeks to go until the World Cup kicks off in Russia, death squads are targeting undesirables in the street. In what local authorities describe as an attempt to make Russia more media- and visitor-friendly, horrifying executions are taking place. However, the great purge is aimed not at man but at man’s best friend – they are coming for the dogs.

Russia’s street dogs are perhaps more lovable than most. They have drawn admiration for their intelligence and resilience. Many of them commute into the cities each morning on the trains. They know to get on the train’s front or back carriage for the least crowded journey, and they know where to get off for the best food. When they beg for food as a pack, they move their youngest and cutest member to the front, knowing this will melt the hearts of passers-by. On busy streets, they’ve even learned to obey traffic lights and cross when it’s safe, trotting alongside pedestrians.

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Read More Russia is killing stray dogs. World Cup stars must help stop the slaughter | Chas Newkey-Burden

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