A fanaty was a member of one of several Russian gangs who formed on the basis of their preferred soccer team. The nomenclature is almost certainly a bastardization of the English word, "fan," into Russian. These gangs existed primarily in the late 1970's in Russia's most metropolitan cities, especially Moscow and Kiev. In many ways, the fan gangs represented slightly wussier versions of Scottish soccer hooligans (i.e., they were younger, got into less fights, drunk much less, generally were less of a nuisance). The gangs were often simply an evolution of a prior social group, the courtyard gang, in which many young Muscovite teenagers were involved during that time period, but they are more important as fanaty than as a courtyard gang primarily because of their graffiti. Fanaty were the first major social group in Russia to extensively use graffiti and as such were allowed to establish the social rules for its use. They established graffiti as an argot by creating and adhering to certain conventions regarding its use, such as the use of Russian for derogatory statements and the use of English words and certain symbols like stars and crowns for positive ones. These same rules, once established by the fanaty, were followed by other graffiti-producing sections of Russian youth society, such as pacifists, punks, hippies, and metallisty.

A few of the major varieties of fanaty include, but are not limited to, Spartak, Dinamo, and TsSKA. These correspond to major league soccer teams in Russia and especially in Moscow, around whose banners fanaty gangs ostensibly formed.

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