WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING IMAGES The Russian President faces calls to intervene over reports of cruel killings
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been urged to personally step in and prevent a "bloody massacre" of stray dogs ahead of the World Cup.
It comes amid reports animals are being "cruelly shot and stabbed" in the build-up to the football competition.
The appeal to Putin comes from professional footballers backing animal rights campaigners who are worried about the country’s reputation.
This comes as animal rights activist Ekaterina Dmitrieva claims 4,000 dogs are likely to have been killed in Ekaterinburg alone - a city where France, Mexico, Sweden and Mexico will play.
She warned: “Catchers use a javelin with poison. It is called Ditilin - succinylcholine iodide,” she said.