Russians are celebrating the World Cup victory over Spain like the Soviet Union celebrated the victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, the Kremlin said Monday.
"If you saw the streets yesterday in many Russian cities, including Moscow, which I saw myself, in many ways it was possibly comparable to the chronicle of May 9, 1945," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.
World Cup hosts Russia overcame high-ranked Spain in extra-time in Moscow on Sunday to advance to the tournament's quarter-finals. Droves of fans poured out onto Moscow's streets, singing and dancing in fountains, waving flags and chanting "Ros-si-ya, Ros-si-ya" ("Russia, Russia").
The celebrations centred around Red Square and the neighbouring Nikolskaya Street, where police officers appear to be temporarily overlooking a rule against public consumption of alcohol.
It was once a relatively quiet street lined with souvenir shops and expensive restaurants but has been transformed into an epicentre of the World Cup festivities in Russia's capital.